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From Site Selection magazine, January 2022

There were a few common threads to all state legislative sessions in 2021: The seated legislators all had to wrangle, wheedle, cajole or otherwise out-maneuver one another as they redrew legislative and congressional districts in accordance with new U.S. Census numbers. Throughout the year, state leaders also had to figure out how best to distribute monies from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress. And when the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act finally achieved passage in the nation’s capital, those same state legislators knew more money was coming for vital projects from highways to rail to broadband that would soon start moving forward like a bottlenecked freight train to stoke job creation and economic activity.

Where people are located and how the infrastructure serves them depend in large part on where opportunity and growth are occurring. That’s where Site Selection’s annual State of the States report comes into play.

In the following pages, you’ll find demographic, GDP and credit rating data insights, legislative updates, agency information, governor quotes and, in some cases, manufacturing spotlights* assembled by the Conway Data research team and our team of journalists that shed light on the economies, workforce and business climates of all 50 states. You’ll also find our annual collection of “Rankings that Matter,” which include each state’s rank in the following economic development yardsticks:

Tax Icon The Tax Foundation 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index (Dec. 2021)
Education Icon 2019 Higher Education R&D Expenditure (total in $000s in parentheses), according to the National Science Foundation
Career Icon Percent improvement in ACT National Career Readiness Certificates earned by working-age adults between Dec. 2020 and Nov. 2021
Work Icon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate state rankings by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ IT and Research Division, October 2020
Power Icon Lowest Industrial Electric Power Cost (¢/kWh, EIA, August 2021)
Rank Icon Fiscal Health (based on data from Pew Center on the States’ Fiscal 50, Dec. 2020)

Mix and match these data points according to your own organization’s site selection priorities, and let the facts guide you toward the best location choice.

This report was compiled, edited and designed by Mark Arend, Adam Bruns, Gary Daughters, Karen Medernach, Daniel Boyer, McKenzie Wright, Brian Espinoza and Richard Nenoff. 

A note about the layout: States supported by a full page of advertising have full data pages including project charts and Pandemic Recovery and Response facts. Therefore, states do not always appear in alphabetical order.

Sources: Standard & Poor’s (state credit ratings as of December 2020); ESRI (2021 state populations, population growths, median household incomes, and median ages); The Pew Charitable Trusts Fiscal 50 resource, based on data from state comprehensive annual financial reports; National Science Foundation; ACT; U.S. Energy Information Administration; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; C2ER; National Bureau of Economic Research; U.S. Census Bureau; Conway Analytics’ Conway Projects Database; state chambers of commerce, economic development agencies and business/industry associations; press reports; governors’ and corporate press rooms; law firms;; and legislative research services.



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