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2011 Top States For Doing Business: Full Results & Methodology

For the second year in a row, Area Development magazine has conducted a survey of a select group of highly respected location consultants who work with a nationwide client base.

Area Development Magazine Special Presentation (Fall 2011)
We asked the consultants to name their top-5 state choices in 12 site selection categories, as follows:

Business environment
1. Overall cost of doing business
2. Incentives programs
3. Business friendliness
4. Corporate tax environment

Labor climate
1. Labor availability
2. Labor costs
3. Work force development programs

Infrastructure/global access
1. Rail & highway accessibility
2. Certified sites & shovel-ready programs
3. Competitive utility rates
4. Access to global markets

Economy
1. Leading in the economic recovery


States were ranked in each of the 12 categories above based on the number of times they were named as a "top-5" choice by the responding consultants. Next, a top-5 state's ranking in each of the 12 categories was assigned a weight in accordance with its position in these individual categories. Based on these total weighted scores, Texas is far and away the consultants' #1 choice for doing business, followed by Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina (with weighted scores only a point apart), and finally Indiana in the #5 spot. Taking the #6-#10 rankings based on weighted scores are Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and - surprisingly - California, in that order.

The top-5 states based on weighted scores were each mentioned in at least 8 of 12 categories. Three other states - Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina - were mentioned among the top-5 states in 6 of 12 categories, and Tennessee was mentioned in 4 of 12. Several other states made the top-5 listings in the 12 individual categories (there were numerous ties), but were mentioned in fewer categories overall. Nonetheless, these states also are considered among 2011's top states for doing business according to the consultants responding to our survey.

Full Results:
    • 1.
    • TEXAS
    • 38pts
    • 2.
    • GEORGIA
    • 28
    • 3.
    • ALABAMA
    • 27
    • 4.
    • SOUTH CAROLINA
    • 26
    • 5.
    • INDIANA
    • 20
    • 6.
    • LOUISIANA
    • 17
    • 7.
    • NORTH CAROLINA
    • 15
    • 8.
    • TENNESSEE
    • 13
    • 9.
    • MISSISSIPPI
    • 12
    • 10.
    • CALIFORNIA
    • 6


    • 1.
    • ALABAMA
      GEORGIA
    • 10/12
    • 2.
    • TEXAS
    • 9/12
    • 3.
    • INDIANA
      SOUTH CAROLINA
    • 8/12
    • 4.
    • LOUISIANA
      MISSISSIPPI
      NORTH CAROLINA
    • 6/12
    • 5.
    • TENNESSEE
    • 4/12

    • 1.
    • TEXAS
    • 2.
    • INDIANA
    • 3.
    • LOUISIANA
      VIRGINIA
    • 4.
    • ALABAMA
      GEORGIA
      NORTH DAKOTA
      TENNESSEE
      UTAH
    • 5.
    • NORTH CAROLINA



    • 1.
    • TEXAS
    • 2.
    • SOUTH
      CAROLINA
    • 3.
    • ALABAMA
    • 4.
    • LOUISIANA
    • 5.
    • INDIANA
    • 1.
    • Texas
    • 2.
    • Alabama
      South Carolina
    • 3.
    • Indiana
      Louisiana
    • 4.
    • Georgia
      North Carolina
    • 5.
    • Mississippi
    • 1.
    • Alabama
      Louisiana
      Texas
    • 2.
    • South Carolina
    • 3.
    • Georgia
    • 4.
    • Oklahoma
    • 5.
    • Indiana
      Mississippi
    • 1.
    • Texas
    • 2.
    • South Carolina
    • 3.
    • Nevada
    • 4.
    • Alabama
      Florida
      Indiana
      Mississippi
    • 5.
    • Georgia

    • 1.
    • Texas
    • 2.
    • South Carolina
    • 3.
    • Louisiana
    • 4.
    • Alabama
      Mississippi
    • 5.
    • Indiana



    • 1.
    • TENNESSEE
    • 2.
    • GEORGIA
    • 3.
    • INDIANA
      TEXAS
    • 4.
    • NORTH CAROLINA
    • 5.
    • SOUTH CAROLINA

    • 1.
    • North Carolina
      Tennessee
    • 2.
    • South Carolina
    • 3.
    • Georgia
      Indiana
      Texas
    • 4.
    • Oklahoma
    • 5.
    • Alabama
      Ohio


    • 1.
    • California
    • 2.
    • New York
    • 3.
    • Florida
      Texas
    • 4.
    • Georgia
      New Jersey
    • 5.
    • Virginia

    • 1.
    • Kentucky
    • 2.
    • Tennessee
    • 3.
    • Georgia
    • 4.
    • Alabama
      South Carolina
    • 5.
    • Indiana
      Mississippi
      Washington

    • 1.
    • Indiana
    • 2.
    • Illinois
    • 3.
    • Texas
    • 4.
    • Georgia
      Missouri
      North Carolina
      Pennsylvania
      Tennessee
    • 5.
    • Virginia


    • 1.
    • GEORGIA
    • 2.
    • ALABAMA
    • 3.
    • MISSISSIPPI
      NORTH CAROLINA
    • 4.
    • SOUTH CAROLINA
      TEXAS
    • 5.
    • LOUISIANA
      MICHIGAN
    • 1.
    • Georgia
    • 2.
    • Texas
    • 3.
    • Michigan
    • 4.
    • North Carolina
      Ohio
    • 5.
    • Alabama
      California

    • 1.
    • Mississippi
    • 2.
    • Alabama
    • 3.
    • South Carolina
    • 4.
    • Arkansas
    • 5.
    • Louisiana

    • 1.
    • Georgia
    • 2.
    • Alabama
    • 3.
    • North Carolina
    • 4.
    • Louisiana
    • 5.
    • South Carolina
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