Here are America’s top six states for business in 2021

Abu Mubarik August 08, 2021
Richmond, Virginia. Photo: Ron Cogswell/Wikimedia Commons

America is aptly described as the land of opportunities owing to the ease of doing business. As a federal state, the competitiveness of doing business varies from one state to another. In order to determine which state has the edge over the other, CNBC has ranked America’s top states for doing business.

The platform scored the states in 10 categories, weighted “based on how frequently the states cite them in their economic development marketing pitches, for a total of 2,500 points.”

This year’s categories and point totals are:

  • Cost of Doing Business – 400 points
  • Infrastructure – 375 points
  • Life, Health and Inclusion (formerly Quality of Life) – 375 points
  • Workforce – 325 points
  • Economy – 250 points
  • Business Friendliness – 200 points
  • Access to Capital – 175 points
  • Technology and Innovation – 175 points
  • Education – 150 points
  • Cost of Living – 75 points 

Below are the top six states for doing business in America:


Despite the pandemic, the state of Virginia emerged as America’s top state for doing business, maintaining its status in the previous study published in 2019. CNBC did not publish rankings in 2020 because many states were under lockdown or restrictions because of the pandemic.

According to CNBC, this is the fifth time the state of Virginia has emerged as America’s top state for doing business since the study started in 2017. The state scored 1,587 points to take the 2021 Top States crown.

The state retained the top spot because of its ability to nurture and retain talent. Public schools perform well and have a world-class higher education that is well funded. Per the rankings, its strongest category is education.

The state also has one of the best-educated workforces in the country, with at least 39% of workers having a bachelor’s degree. Also, the state boasts of having America’s third-highest concentration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

North Carolina

North Carolina was named as the second-best state for doing business, according to CNBC, scoring 1546 out of a possible 2,500. According to the study, North Carolina performed well in categories like the cost of doing business and unemployment.

However, the study notes that the state must take steps towards inclusiveness.


Utah ranked third in the CNBC rankings on the best states for doing business. Overall, Utah’s economy was recognized as the best in the United States.

CNBC also cited strong growth, low unemployment, and low tax rates. However, the study notes that Utah must take steps to make healthcare resources even.


Texas ranked fourth on the list. According to the rankings, Texas was 1st in the workforce, 3rd in access to capital, 5th in the economy, and 10th for cost of doing business. 

The study, however, notes that the state is increasingly messing with the rights of people.


Tennessee was ranked fifth among America’s top states of doing business by CNBC. The state scored 1,469 out of a possible 2,500 points in the study.

This is the first time Tennessee has made the top 5 list in the study. The state was ranked 8th in Cost of Doing Business, 25th in Workforce, 46th in Life, Health and Inclusion, 2nd in Economy, 4th in Infrastructure with 245 points, and 32nd in Technology and Innovation. It was also 23rd in Education, 20th in Business Friendliness, 14th in Access to Capital and 8th in Cost of Living.


According to CNBC, Georgia ranked 6th among America’s top states of doing business. Per the study, infrastructure, economy, and workforce are the positives for the state. However, the Peach State fell short in the area of inclusiveness.

Georgia came in 6th after scoring 1449 out of a possible 2,500 points in the study.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 7, 2021


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