6/25/2015 10:14:43 AM
In its 2015 ranking of "America's Top States for Business," Minnesota claimed the top spot - moving the state up from sixth place in 2014.
The study ranks all 50 states on 60 measures of competitiveness separated into 10 categories including: cost of doing business, workforce, economy, infrastructure and transportation, education, cost of living, access to capital, innovation, business friendliness and quality of life. Minnesota received the highest combined score of all categories.
Here's quick breakdown of how Minnesota scored in each category. Don't forget to checkout the more detailed analyses, too.
The primary factor in scoring for this category was the education level of each state's workforce. Minnesota's workers are among the most educated in the nation, with over 92 percent having a high school diploma - ranking fourth in the U.S. - and over 33 percent having a bachelor's degree - ranking 11th in the U.S.
Minnesota's industry diversity helped us weather the recession better than most other states, but we also offer expertise in global solutions. With expert proficiency in health care, food and water solutions, the world is turning to Minnesota companies to solve issues threating populations around the globe.
We know that we are only as strong as our ability to transport goods to market, and with one of the largest and busiest airports in the country - the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport - we are well positioned to export around the world.
An educated workforce is key to a thriving business community. With over 200 public and private higher education institutions in Minnesota, the availability of educated workers is abundant. Additionally, Minnesota also has some of the best access to training and re-retraining opportunities for workers looking for careers that are in-demand.
According to CNBC, "A solid economy is good for business." Minnesota is experiencing substantial economic growth, adding nearly 200,000 jobs in the past four years and boasting one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 3.8 percent.
This scoring category measures states' regulatory framework, as well as perceived friendliness. While modest compared to other states, Minnesota offers financial support to businesses looking to expand or grow within its borders.
As one of the most improved categories for the state, Minnesota jumped from 38th place in 2014 to 35th place in 2015. Since 2011, the private sector business survival rate grew from 44 percent to 55 percent - placing Minnesota in 5th place nationally. We are also home to 17 Fortune 500 companies, ranking second in the national per capita.
A competitive cost of living allows for workers to find viable housing, food and energy, and enables wages to go further. Minnesota placed 16th in 2014 with per capital personal income at $48,711 annually.
Quality of life is an important factor in a solid economic development strategy, which bodes well for Minnesota: a state that offers culture, the arts, natural beauty and bustling metropolitans. With low rates of poverty, a healthy citizen population, and competitive cost of living, Minnesota offers a place where people can prosper.
The CNBC study looked at venture capital investments by state, as well as small-business lending on a relative basis. Just this past legislative session, leaders made it easier for start-up companies to raise capital in Minnesota through equity crowdfunding.