Washington Business Ranked Best in U.S. for 2017

Washington Business Ranked

For 11 years, CNBC has ranked the nation’s states to determine which are the most economically competitive. After months of data analysis—reviewing more than 60 measures of competitiveness from taxes to regulatory climate and quality of the workforce—Washington came out as “America’s Top State for Business in 2017.”

Since last year, Washington’s economy has grown at a rate of 3.7 percent, which was almost 2.5 times the national average. In addition, Pacific northwestern state is home to the nation’s largest concentration of STEM (science technology, engineering and math) workers. In fact, nearly one in every ten workers in the state fits in a STEM profession. There’s also the fact that the state filed the second most patents and is home to such vast and prestigious companies as Amazon, Costco, Boeing, Expedia, Starbucks and Microsoft.

However, it’s not just the established enterprises that keep Washington in the top slot. Last year, Washington businesses gained nearly $1.6 billion in venture capital for quickly growing companies such as Blue Origin, a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company founded by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Other selling points for Washington include the education system. The University of Washington is home to a world-class computer science school and one of the top business schools in the world. And the graduates from Washington universities tend to stay in the state more so than anywhere else.

This top ranking for the state rounds out Washington’s steady ascent to the top since it first made it into the top ten in 2014.

About the Ranking Methodology

Overall, Washington received 1,621 out of 2,500 points to achieve the top spot. This gave the state a top 10 finish in five out of the ten categories of competitiveness. The categories included:

  • Workforce (5th)
  • Infrastructure (32nd)
  • Cost of Doing Business (32nd)
  • Economy (3rd)
  • Quality of Life (5th)
  • Technology & Innovation (3rd)
  • Education (19th)
  • Business Friendliness (31st)
  • Access to Capital (8th)
  • Cost of Living (37th)


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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