The Top States for Doing Business in 2011

Holiday lights adorn buildings along the skyline of Richmond, Virginia.
Holiday lights adorn buildings along the skyline of Richmond, Virginia, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Steve Helber/AP Photo)

CNBC has come out with its fifth annual Top 10 list for the best for business; what does this mean for you, the job seeker? Basically, if the state is good at doing business, it means that it provides good incentives for businesses to make their home there, and the more businesses you have, the more opportunities out there for new jobs and career paths.

Over the previous four years, Texas and Virginia have vied for the title of best state for business. Which state won this year? Read on to get the full list below. First, a bit of explanation courtesy of CNBC; all states are rated in 43 measures of competitiveness that were gathered in 10 categories:

  • Cost of doing business (350 points)
  • Workforce (350 points)
  • Quality of life (350 points)
  • Infrastructure and transportation (325 points)
  • Economy (300 points)
  • Education (225 points)
  • Technology and innovation (225 points)
  • Business friendliness (200 points)
  • Access to capital (100 points)
  • Cost of living (50 points)

Without further ado, here's the Top 10 list:

10. Nebraska

Nebraska breaks this list, thanks to high scores in economy, business friendliness and cost of living.

9. Iowa

Looking for the cheapest state in the land when it comes to the cost of doing business? You just found it.

8. Utah

Despite middling scores in most of its categories, the Beehive State gets a boost from its high rank in business friendliness (No. 4).

7. Minnesota

Yes, the state is suffering from a major budget crisis at the moment, but its high marks in quality of life and education make it an attractive destination for businesses and workers.

6. Massachusetts

The Bay State still ranks high but fell out of the top five this year due to a smaller workforce pool and a dip in its education rank (from first to fourth).

5. Colorado

Workforce, quality of life and business friendliness are all pluses for Colorado; potential drawbacks are relatively high cost of living and cost of business.

4. Georgia

Despite an economy that ranks in the bottom third (35th), the Peach State has superior infrastructure and workforce rankings, plus a decent cost of living.

3. North Carolina

A virtual duplicate of Georgia, with No. 3 rankings in workforce and infrastructure.

2. Texas

The 2010 top state for business maintained or improved its rank in seven of the 10 categories, but it saw slight downturns in the cost of doing business, quality of life and economy. The state's ongoing budget issues are mainly to blame, as well as a diminished number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered there, but No. 2 is nothing to sneeze at.

1. Virginia

Virginia's location, economy and business climate have always been strong points in its favor, and it earned top honors this year, thanks to improvements in the cost of doing business (jumping up to No. 21 from last year's No. 26) and education (No. 6).

On the other hand, the state's quality of life could use some work, as it currently ranks No. 26 (compared to No. 18 last year). Still, when you're in the Top 10 in five categories -- infrastructure and transportation, economy, education, friendliness, access to capital -- you're doing something right.

How about the worst five states for doing business? The hall of shame is below:

  • 46. West Virginia
  • 47. Mississippi
  • 48. Hawaii
  • 49. Alaska
  • 50. Rhode Island

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