South Dakota #11 for Business

CNBC2014CNBC has released its America’s Top States for Business ranking for 2014 and South Dakota is #11. The Top 5 States for Business in 2014 include:

  1. Georgia
  2. Texas
  3. Utah
  4. Nebraska
  5. North Carolina

Despite dropping 10 spots, we’re still a great state for business. We are:

  • 2nd in Business Friendliness
  • A better location for business than 78% of the nation
  • 6th in Cost of Doing Business
  • 6th in Workforce (a metric that is continually improving)
  • 10th in Quality of Life

Since the inception of CNBC’s Top States for Business ranking, South Dakota has consistently ranked in the top 20 and, more often than not, in the top 10. South Dakota consistently ranks in the top ten in Cost of Doing Business, Business Friendliness, and Quality of Life. An advancement to #6 in Workforce confirms what we’ve always known, South Dakota’s people get the job done.

CNBC2014-chartSouth Dakota’s rank dropped from #1 in 2013 and the Economy and Infrastructure categories showed significant change. Also, according to CNBC, the oil boom in North Dakota may have had an impact:

The Mount Rushmore State is not nearly as reliant on energy production as its northern neighbor. But it is feeling some of the same effects of the region’s growth. Last year’s Least Expensive State for Business drops five spots in the category. And the state falls to 20th from sixth in the Economy category. As a result, South Dakota falls to 11th overall.


The CNBC study reviews 56 measures of competitiveness in all fifty states. Those 56 measures have been grouped into 10 categories, listed below, and weighted based on how much they are mentioned in marketing efforts across the nation.

  • Cost of Doing Business (450 points)
  • Economy (375 points)
  • Infrastructure & Transportation (350 points)
  • Workforce (300 points)
  • Quality of Life (300 points)
  • Technology & Innovation (300 points)
  • Business Friendliness (200 points)
  • Education (150 points)
  • Cost of Living (50 points)
  • Access to Capital (25 points)
The measures shift a bit every year and this year is no different. In 2013, 51 measures were used to analyze the states and in 2014, this increased to 56 measures. Changes include the addition of job growth analysis and agricultural innovation, among other things.

Categories: Business Climate, Rankings

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