9-Year Run: CEOs Rank Texas #1, California #50

Each year, chiefexecutive.net ranks states based upon their business competitiveness. The latest rankings have just been published in 2013: Best and Worst States for Business.

Texas on Top: For the 9th Year in a Row

For the ninth year in a row, chiefexecutive.net ranks Texas as the most business friendly state. Noting the Texas cost of living advantage, chiefexecutive.net points out that “Young programmers and engineers can actually afford to live well in Austin, where the housing cost index is 300 percent lower than in San Francisco.” 

It is not surprising that Austin has emerged as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States adding 3.1 percent to its population annually since 2010. This is an astounding rate of growth --- twice that of the San Jose IT behemoth, which at current rate of growth will fall behind Austin in population by 2015. Austin’s growth rate is faster than some of the fastest growing developing world cities, such as Mumbai, Dhaka and Manila.

However there is much more to Texas Austin. Dallas-Fort Worth is the fastest growing metropolitan area with more than 5 million people in the high income world, though at an average annual growth rate since 2010 of 1.9234 percent retains only a narrow lead over similar sized Houston (1.9227 percent). Smaller San Antonio is growing marginally more quickly both Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston (though less than 2 percent).

Texas was joined in the top five by the South’s Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as Indiana, from the Midwest. Three of the top five (Texas, Florida and Tennessee) do not have a state income tax and chiefexecutive.net notes that other states are looking at tax reform that would improve the business climate.

California: Bringing Up the Rear for the 9th Year in a Row

Just as predictably as Texas ranking first, California has secured the bottom position for the ninth year in a row. A California CEO told chiefexecutive.net“On any particular element, if New Jersey is an ‘8’ on the pain-in-the-ass scale, California is a ‘9 … It’s an ungovernable state, and there’s no movement that will change that, though there are people who want to…” 

Nearly as predictably, California is joined in the bottom five by older northeastern states New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts as well as Illinois, from which, like California, hundreds of thousands, even millions of people have fled since 2000.

The complete state rankings can be viewed at http://chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-for-business-2013.

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