CNBC: Minnesota Is Best State for Business

50 States, 60+ metrics, 10 categories of competitiveness… and Minnesota takes the top spot!

Financial news network CNBC has just ranked Minnesota as the best state in the nation to do business, marking 2015 as the first year the North Star State has earned the accolade. Minnesota has seen sustained improvement in CNBC’s evaluation of overall business friendliness, having landed the 6th spot last year and the 13th in 2013.

Click on the image above to access an interactive map of the CNBC Top States for Business rankings.

The study “literally goes through thousands and thousands of data points, and it brought us here, to a state that is overflowing with good things for business,” reported CNBC’s Scott Cohen.

In a Thursday press conference, Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) attributed the No. 1 ranking to a combination of the state’s revised tax policies and improved economic growth.

“Minnesota is on the right track overall for business growth, for job creation, for improved standard of living, quality of life,” Dayton said. “Not that we don’t have our deficiencies … but overall, and the fact that businesses look at state’s circumstances overall, we’re on the right track.”

Visual representation of CNBC rankings
Click on the chart above to see a visual representation of where each state collected points in the ranking.

Minnesota scored high marks in two key categories, education and workforce, while maintaining respectable outputs in the remaining eight. Interestingly enough, the state’s lowest-ranked category, 35th place, was in the cost of doing business. Minnesota’s highly educated workforce and collaborative structure of several colleges and universities were enough to overcome the higher tax rates, according to CNBC. The study also emphasized the state’s K-12 education system, which perennially ranks among the nation’s best performing.

Categories and associated point values for this year’s ranking are:

  • Workforce (400 points)
  • Cost of Doing Business (350 points)
  • Infrastructure (350 points)
  • Economy (340 points)
  • Quality of Life (325 points)
  • Technology & Innovation (250 points)
  • Education (200 points)
  • Business Friendliness (160 points)
  • Cost of Living (75 points)
  • Access to Capital (50 points)