Virginia ranks 4th among CNBC’s best states for business

Arlington residents were found to have the lowest smoking rate and "the highest reports of very good or excellent health," the ACSM said Tuesday. Arlington's community infrastructure was also a significant factor. (Courtesy Arlington Economic Development)
WASHINGTON — CNBC’s annual ranking of Best States for Business puts Virginia at No. 4 on this year’s list, up from No. 7 last year.

Virginia gets high marks for having an educated, available workforce (No. 3) and for becoming a leader in business friendliness, with the passage earlier this year of a regulatory reform bill which sets a goal of reducing regulations by 25 percent in the next three years.

Virginia and Texas, this year’s top-rated state, frequently battled for first place on the CNBC list before the recession of 2008. CNBC notes when the recession took hold, the size of the federal government’s presence in Virginia shrank, causing Virginia to slip in its subsequent rankings.

CNBC’s rankings are based on a long list of factors, including workforce, infrastructure, cost of doing business, economy, quality of life, technology and innovation, education, business friendliness, access to capital and cost of living.

Virginia ranks in the top 10 for workforce (No. 3), education (No. 6) and business friendliness (No. 5). It ranks low for cost of living and cost of doing business.

Maryland ranks No. 31 on this year’s list, ranking high (No. 3) for workforce and technology and innovation but near the bottom for cost of doing business (No. 34)  and infrastructure (No. 20).

CNBC’s Best States for Doing Business list is led this year by Texas, Washington and Utah. Colorado ranks just behind Virginia.

CNBC’s full list and methodology is available online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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