CNBC said that Virginia ranked as the best state for education, with “strong support for K-12 and secondary schools,” but noted that “high costs — including high wages — hurt the state.”
Since the study began in 2007, Virginia has topped the list five times, in 2021, 2019, 2011, 2009, and 2007. There was no ranking in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To create the annual ranking, the news organization analyzes how each state performs in 10 weighted categories, with a total of 86 metrics considered within those categories. The most heavily weighted categories were workforce; infrastructure; economy; and life, health, and inclusion.
Virginia placed seventh in workforce; 10th in infrastructure; 13th in economy; and 16th in life, health, and inclusion. The state’s top categories were education (No. 1), access to capital (No. 4), and business friendliness (No. 6).
North Carolina claimed the top slot for the second year in a row. “Business and the economy have been on a tear since the pandemic, and the state has scarcely looked back,” CNBC said. Economic development wins including a $130 million investment from Bosch to expand its power tool manufacturing facility and plans for Apple to build a $1 billion facility in the state have contributed to the state’s business success.
Maryland came in near the halfway mark, at No. 22. It ranked well in technology and innovation (No. 7) but received a poor score for the cost of doing business (No. 47). Washington, DC, was not included in the study.
Following Virginia was Tennessee at No. 3, Georgia at No. 4, and Minnesota at No. 5.
Alaska ranked last in the list, after Louisiana at No. 49, Mississippi at No. 48, and Hawaii at No. 47.
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