Hawaii, No. 49, and Maine, No. 50, were the only states to do worse on the ranking, although the Ocean State did move up one spot from next to last in 2010.
The ranking considered six factors – with business costs getting the most weight.
Rhode Island’s worst score was the regulatory environment at 50th, followed by the current economic climate, 49th; business costs, 40th; labor supply, 38th; quality of life, 18th; and growth prospects, 17th.
Other Northeast states to earn a spot on the bottom half of the list were Vermont, No. 45, and New Jersey, No. 44.
Massachusetts, however, came in at No. 18, while earning the infamous 50th spot for business costs, balanced by a No. 1 ranking for quality of life.
The best states for business, in order, were: Utah, Virginia and North Carolina. Louisiana was highlighted as a “big climber” jumping to No. 30 from No. 44 last year.