When it comes to business, you really can’t mess with Texas. For the 11th year in a row, the Lone Star state was ranked the top state for business in America. That’s according to the Best and Worst States For Business survey, which polled 511 CEOs across the U.S.
Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia rounded out the top five. CEOs selected these states – notably all in the South – because of their more business-friendly taxes and regulations, workforce quality and living environment, which includes education quality, cost of living, affordable housing, social amenities and crime rates.
When it came to the worst states for business, California finished dead last, with some CEOs branding the state “anti-business.” Illinois joined the northeastern states of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts in completing the list of bottom dwellers in the survey. High tax rates and business-deflating regulations make these states unattractive places to set up shop, CEOs said. “The good states ask what they can do for you; the bad states ask what they can get from you,” one CEO told Chief Executive magazine, which produced the survey.
Certainly, CEOs view Texas as the shining example of a good state. The executives gave Texas four out of five stars on taxes/regulations, workforce quality and living environment. Since the recession began in 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas; America’s other 49 states have generated 700,000 jobs combined during the same time frame. In another sign of Texas’ success, the state’s GDP grew at an annual rate of nearly 4%, compared to 1.9% for the nation. “Texas does everything possible to make business comfortable and more successful,” said one CEO.
To see the complete survey results – including extensive detail on each state – click here.