economic development

R.I. second-worst state to do business in, says CNBC; Mass. moves up to No. 5

CNBC has named Rhode Island the second-worst state in the Union for doing business, a drop from 2009’s ranking as the third-worst.
Posted 7/14/10

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island has been listed as the second-worst state in the nation for business, according to CNBC’s fourth annual America’s Top States for Business.

The Ocean State slipped one spot from its 2009 rank of 48, scoring 775 out of a possible 2,500 points.

The 50 states were ranked using 40 different metrics in 10 categories: cost of doing business, work force, quality of life, economy, transportation & infrastructure, technology & innovation, education, business friendliness, access to capital, and cost of living.

In the economy category, Rhode Island tied with Nevada as having the worst overall economy.

Despite its ranking, the Ocean State still saw improvement in some categories, moving up to No. 14 in education from last year’s 26, and climbing 13 spots to No. 23 in the access to capital category.

In comparison, neighboring Massachusetts is now ranked fifth in America’s Top States for Business 2010, becoming the first Northeastern state to land in the top five. CNBC cited the Bay State’s top placement in the education category, as well as its near-top scores in technology & innovation (3), access to capital (2) and business friendliness (14).

Texas took the top spot this year in a repeat of its 2008 performance and tying with Virginia for two wins each. Alaska was again ranked last due to a high cost of living and doing business, as well as a weak infrastructure.

The 10 categories were selected in 2007 with the assistance of business groups such as the National Association of Manufacturing. Each category was weighted based on how frequently they are used by states as selling points to attract business.

Rhode Island 2010 rankings by category:

  • Cost of business: 45

  • Work force: 25

  • Quality of Life: 33

  • Economy: 49 (tied with Nevada)

  • Transportation: 48

  • Technology & Innovation: 28

  • Education: 14

  • Business friendliness: 48

  • Access to capital: 23

  • Cost of living: 41

For more details about Rhode Island’s ranking visit

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