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CNBC's Best States for Business

Minnesota, Texas and Utah are judged to be the top three states for business, according to a CNBC study.

| BY Kent McDill

The competition is fierce between the 50 United States to attract business, which purportedly provides jobs and tax dollars, although states fall all over each other trying to give the best tax breaks possible to attract business.

In the end, there are states that are just good places to do business, and states that struggle to provide the necessary ingredients to attract business owners.

Using input from business and policy experts, official government sources, and information from the 50 U.S. states, CNBC has determined the Best States for Business 2015. A total of 60 measures of competitiveness were used, and then broken into 10 categories in which the states were ranked.

The 10 categories were then weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials.

Here are the top five states according to CNBC (including details on the categories in which each stated finished in the top 5):

No. 1 Minnesota – The North Star State finished second for education and third for quality of life.

No. 2 Texas – Texas finished first for infrastructure and second for economy, but 33rd for quality of life.

No. 3 Utah – Did you know Utah is the Beehive State? Utah finished first for economy and fifth for business friendliness. Utah finished 31st in education.

No. 4 Colorado – Colorado, which has taken up the cause of legalized marijuana in a big way, ranked third for economy and fifth for technology and innovation. It had the worst ranking for cost of doing business, 36th overall, of the top 11 states.

No. 5 Georgia – Statistics are a funny thing. Georgia finished in the top five in four categories – second for infrastructure, third for workforce, fourth for economy and fifth for access to capital – but finished fifth overall due in part to being 36th in quality of life.

The stats that were six through 10 were North Dakota, Nebraska, Washington, North Carolina and Iowa.

The top 10 included five states on either side of the Mississippi, but only North Carolina in the Southeast and no states in the Eastern seaboard.

North Dakota finished first in workforce, Indiana was first for cost of doing business, Hawaii was first for quality of life (but 50th overall), Washington was first for technology and innovation, Massachusetts was first for education, Mississippi was first for cost of living (but 43rd overall) and North Carolina was first for access to capital.



About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.