Georgia Tops for Business

Georgia is the state to be when it comes to commerce, according to a study from CNBC. Thanks to its large, educated workforce, a rebounding housing market and a strong infrastructure, the Peach State finished first in CNBC’s 2014 list of best states for business. Georgia has always been among the top 10 since CNBC started ranking states in 2007, but this is the first time it took the No. 1 spot.

Every year, the Top States for Business study rates the nation on more than 50 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness – workforce, cost of doing business, economy, infrastructure, quality of life, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, cost of living and access to capital. CNBC says it holds each state to its own standards by weighting categories based on how frequently they appear as a selling point in marketing materials.

Georgia Govenor Nathan Deal wasn’t surprised by the study’s findings. “As more and more people see Georgia’s successes and consider it for an expansion or relocation, I think more rankings will put Georgia on top,” he said.

Texas nabbed the No. 2 spot in CNBC’s list. The Lone Star State added more than 300,000 jobs in the last year. It also boasts a strong economy, a thriving technology sector and robust access to capital. Rounding out the top 5 are Utah, Nebraska and North Carolina.

At the bottom of the pile were Connecticut, Alaska, West Virginia, Hawaii and Rhode Island.