These Are the Best and Worst States For Business

Business Meeting
circa 1955: A group of businessmen wearing suits sit around a table and observe a colleague pointing at a blank board. (Photo by Harold M. Lambert/Lambert/Getty Images)
Photo by Harold M. Lambert—Getty Images

Chief Executive Magazine released its 12th annual CEO opinion survey, ranking states by their business credentials.

The magazine asked 513 chief executive officers to rank the four best and the four worst states for business considering three factors: taxation and regulations, workforce quality, and living environment. Though the CEOs only focus on those three categories, they cover essentially anything that could affect business. That includes tax rates and incentives, environmental and employment compliance regulations, quality of public transportation and education, and availability of workforce.

The two states that top the list, and have topped the list each year this survey has been conducted, are Texas and Florida. CEOs favor Texas because of its economic reforms, and Florida seems to be getting better each year. In the past five years alone it has added a million jobs in the private sector, cut taxes 50 times, and purged over 4,000 regulations. California and New York come in at the very bottom of the list.


Ohio had the biggest positive change this year, jumping up from 22nd place to 10th. This is likely thanks to Governor John Kasich, who reduced taxes by $4.8 billion. The state has also added 350,000 jobs since 2011. Louisiana, on the other hand, dropped down 30 spots since last year, from 7th place to 37th, largely due to its current budget disaster.

See the full list here.

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