Virginia has overtaken Texas to become America’s Top State for Business in 2011 in CNBC‘s fifth annual study measuring all 50 states on 43 metrics in 10 key categories. Categories are weighted based on how frequently those states emphasise them as traits making them attractive to businesses.This year’s categories and weightings were worth a combined total of 2,500 points, distributed as follows:
- Cost of Doing Business (350 points)
- Workforce (350 points)
- Quality of Life (350 points)
- Infrastructure & Transportation (325 points)
- Economy (300 points)
- Education (225 points)
- Technology & Innovation (225 points)
- Business Friendliness (200 points)
- Access to Capital (100 points)
- Cost of Living (50 points)
Virginia scored 1,600 points based on its strategic location, friendly business climate, and diverse economy. However, the state didn’t fare well in all categories, coming in 21st place in the Cost of Doing Business category and 26th place in the Quality of Life category, in large part because the state’s number of residents without health insurance has been steadily increasing each year. Still, Virginia finished in the top 10 of five categories: Infrastructure & Transportation (10th), Economy (8th), Education (6th), Business Friendliness (2nd), and Access to Capital (10th).
While Virginia took the overall category, California is the undefeated winner of the Technology Innovation category of the Top States for Business in 2011. California has taken the top spot five years running, not surprising considering the presence of Silicon Valley. Three of the four fastest growing tech companies have headquarters in California: Facebook, Google, and Apple. The fourth, Amazon, is located in Seattle.
California earned 219 out of a possible 225 points, surpassing its own record set last year, due in large part to the 27,337 patents issued to California residents in the last year, more than the other top four states combined. But New York was still a contender, coming in at 212 points, followed closely by Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington.