Ranked: America’s Best States to Do Business In
The United States often ranks as one of the best countries to start a business in, but the ease with which one can do business varies state by state. There are many considerations that factor into starting a business like the available workforce, the condition of local infrastructure, access to investors, a culture that’s open to business, and so on.
This map ranks America’s best states to do business in based on a study from CNBC which measured 88 factors across 10 broad categories.
Here is a further breakdown of the weight given to each of the 10 categories:
The Most Business Friendly States
North Carolina—coming in first place in the ranking—attracts an extremely talented and innovative workforce, largely thanks to the state’s investment in its Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP).
Notably, there are three ties in the ranking: New York and South Carolina had the same score, tying for 36th, Connecticut and Nevada tied for 39th, and Hawaii and New Mexico tied for 46th.
Other states ranking high on the list are Washington, Virginia, and Colorado. One of the newest individual metrics CNBC took into consideration was an openness to the cannabis industry, likely playing into Colorado’s move up from 8th to 4th compared to last year.
Some states that perhaps surprisingly don’t crack the top 10 include California and New York, both often considered centers of finance and entrepreneurship. But with the high costs of living and of starting a business in those states, their overall score is reduced.
A Look at the Scoring — North Carolina, California, and Nevada
To better understand how this ranking works we’ve broken down three different states and how they ranked in all 10 categories that gave them their overall spot. Here’s a brief look at their place in each category:
While North Carolina is the number one state to do business in and has an extremely strong economy, they are 26th when it comes to the Cost of Doing Business.
Whereas California ranks low overall, the state ranks first in terms of Technology and Innovation, as well as Access to Capital.
Although Nevada scored highly in the Infrastructure and Business Friendliness categories, the state scored poorly in Technology and Innovation, and was dead last in the Education category.
Doing Business in America
New business applications have actually decreased 4% this year in comparison to the same timeframe in 2021.
Here’s a look at new business applications by region as of July 2022:
- Northeast: 63,058
- Midwest: 70,827
- South: 197,663
- West: 94,150
New business applications in July were the highest in the retail trade industry, numbering around 69,000 new applications, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Applications for professional service businesses were the second highest at 53,000, followed closely by construction businesses at 43,000.
Here’s a closer look at the industry breakdown:
|Industry||Number of Applications|
|Transportation and Warehousing||34,952|
|Administrative and Support||31,602|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||25,725|
|Accommodation and Food Services||24,166|
|Finance and Insurance||18,890|
|Arts and Entertainment||12,684|
|Management of Companies||4,166|
A potential looming recession, alongside rising interest rates and inflation, may be creating a sense of cautiousness among businesspeople, leading to the lower rate of business applications compared to last year. And, at existing companies, the economic situation has lead to cuts in growth forecasts and subsequently, major layoffs.
But overall, the U.S. is a country which values entrepreneurship—even during the pandemic, massive spikes in new business formations were recorded—and certain industries and states will continue to flourish in any business environment.
Visualizing the Rise of the U.S. Dollar Since the 19th Century
This animated graphic shows the U.S. dollar, the world’s primary reserve currency, as a share of foreign reserves since 1900.
Visualizing the Rise of the U.S. Dollar Since the 19th Century
As the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar made up 58.4% of foreign reserves held by central banks in 2022, falling near 25-year lows.
Today, emerging countries are slowly decoupling from the greenback, with foreign reserves shifting to currencies like the Chinese yuan.
At the same time, the steep appreciation of the U.S. dollar is leading countries to sell their U.S. foreign reserves to help prop up their currencies, in turn buying currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars to help generate higher yields.
The above animated graphic from James Eagle shows the rapid ascent of the U.S. dollar over the last century, and its gradual decline in recent years.
Dollar Dominance: A Brief History
In 1944, the U.S. dollar became the world’s reserve currency under the Bretton Woods Agreement. Over the first half of the century, the U.S. ran budget surpluses while increasing trade and economic ties with war-torn countries, expanding its influence as the world’s store of value.
Later through the 1960s, the U.S. dollar share of global foreign reserves rapidly increased as political allies stockpiled the dollar.
By 2000, dollar dominance hit a peak of 71% of global reserves. With the creation of the European Union a year earlier, countries such as China began increasing the share of euros in reserves. Between 2000 and 2005, the share of the dollar in China’s foreign exchange reserves fell by an estimated 15 percentage points.
The dollar began a long rally after the global financial crisis, which drove central banks to cut their dollar reserves to help bolster their currencies.
Fast-forward to today, and dollar reserves have fallen roughly 13 percentage points from their historical peak.
The State of the World’s Reserve Currency
In 2022, 16% of Russia’s export transactions were in yuan, up from almost nothing before the war. Brazil and Argentina have also begun adopting the Chinese currency for trade or reserve purposes. Still, the U.S. dollar makes up 80% of Brazil’s reserves.
Yet while the U.S. dollar has decreased in share of foreign reserves, it still has an immense influence in the world economy.
The majority of trade is invoiced in the U.S. dollar globally, a trend that has stayed fairly consistent over many decades. Between 1999-2019, 74% of trade in Asia was invoiced in dollars and in the Americas, it made up 96% of all invoicing.
Furthermore, almost 90% of foreign exchange transactions involve the U.S. dollar thanks to its liquidity.
However, countries are increasingly finding alternative options than the dollar. Today, Western businesses have begun settling trade with China in renminbi. Looking further ahead, digital currencies could provide options that don’t include the U.S. dollar.
Even more so, if the U.S. share of global GDP continues to shrink, the shift to a multipolar system could progress over this century.
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