Texas Retains Top Spot Among CEOs in Chief Executive’s 2022 Best & Worst States for Business Ranking

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The just-released annual ranking of states by the country’s CEOs shows stability at the top and bottom—but reveals significant pressure from up-and-comer Arizona.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., April 26, 2022 — Perennial CEO favorite Texas once again topped Chief Executive‘s Best and Worst States for Business list this year, continuing a streak uninterrupted since the list’s debut in 2001.

It’s a testament to the state’s continuing strong reputation among the nation’s business leaders. Unlike other such lists, Chief Executive‘s rankings are compiled from a single source: the opinions of CEOs and business owners in the U.S. Nearly 700 CEOs, with representation from every state, participated in this year’s survey, conducted in January 2022. The full report is available here: https://chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-business/

Rounding out the top 5 are Florida and Tennessee, holding down the second and third spots once again this year, Arizona at #4 (up 6 slots since last year) and North Carolina #5 (down 1). CEOs say that low taxes, the low cost of doing business, talented pools of workers and a superior quality of life are among the reasons behind their rankings of those five states.

Amid a resurgence of high-profile economic development projects throughout the nation’s industrial heartland, Indiana, ranked 6th overall, remained the top-ranked state in the Midwest. Utah, ranked 10th overall, was the top state in the Mountain West region. Delaware, ranked 15th, was the top-ranked state in the Mid-Atlantic region, and New Hampshire, #21, the top state in the Northeast.

The biggest movers this year, aside from Arizona, included #13 Colorado (+7) and #22 Oklahoma (+6). CEOs gave praise to the Centennial State for its even-keeled leadership, pro-business policies, top talent and quality of life, while others recognized the simplicity of the Sooner State’s tax code and regulations, which, they say, pave the way for companies to do business without having to jump through hoops.

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The rankings show #12 South Carolina (-6) and #26 Louisiana (-7) both lost favor this year. CEOs say these states offer fewer opportunities to recruit talent compared to many of their neighbors and the potential for natural disasters increases risk there.

At the very bottom of the list were #46 Washington, #47 New Jersey, #48 Illinois, #49 New York and #50 California—all unchanged in their rankings from previous years. High taxes, high regulation and high costs-of-living continue to dent opinions of states at this end of the scale.

SOURCE Chief Executive Group
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SOURCE Chief Executive Group