Change of the guard
We have a new champion.
South Dakota has climbed to the top of CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business list in 2013.
It is the best finish yet for the Mount Rushmore State, which has always been a quiet contender in the annual study, rarely finishing outside the Top 10. But even more impressive, South Dakota’s point total this year — 1,639 out of a possible 2,500 — is the highest logged by any state since we began keeping score in 2007.
Each year, we rate all 50 states on more than 50 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. We weight the categories based on how frequently they appear as selling points in state economic-development marketing materials. That way, we hold the states to their own standards.
This year’s categories and point values are:
- Cost of doing business (450 points)
- Economy (375 points)
- Infrastructure (350 points)
- Workforce (300 points)
- Quality of life (300 points)
- Technology and innovation (300 points)
- Business friendliness (200 points)
- Education (150 points)
- Cost of living (50 points)
- Access to capital (25 points)
In many ways, the competitive landscape — and our study — shifted in South Dakota’s direction this year. A wave of tax cutting that followed the 2010 Republican sweep of statehouses across the country has led to a wave of states touting their low costs of doing business. As a result, the “cost of doing business” category carries more weight than ever in our study.
That said, click ahead for a look at the top six states for business.
America’s top 6 states for business- MSN Money.