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From Site Selection magazine, January 2024

mong the themes to emerge across the 50 state legislatures and governor’s offices over the past year is how to attract funding from a family of major federal programs toting hundreds of billions of dollars in funds. The various challenges and grants follow closely behind Recovery Act funds for which the states are still finding, it is presumed, the highest, best use.

But there are other motifs arising across the land: Broadband expansion to reduce the digital divide is one. Prioritizing career and technical education is another. And don’t forget finding ways to prepare shovel-ready sites.

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

Tax Icon The Tax Foundation 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2023)
Education Icon

2022 Higher Education R&D Expenditure (Dollars in thousands), according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Higher Education Research and Development Survey

Career Icon

Percent improvement in ACT National Career Readiness Certificates earned by working-age adults between Dec. 2021 and Nov. 2022

Work Icon

Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate State Ranking by Information Technology and Research Section, Central Services Division, Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (October 2022)

Power Icon

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Lowest Industrial Electric Power Cost (¢/kWh, 2022)

Rank Icon

Fiscal Health (based on data from Pew Charitable Trusts’ Fiscal 50 resource, Dec. 2021)

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

Sources: Standard & Poor’s (state credit ratings); ESRI (2021 state populations, population growth, 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; Tax Foundation; C2ER; National Bureau of Economic Research; U.S. Census Bureau; Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (workers’ comp rates); 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.

*A note about the layout: States supported by a full page of advertising have full data pages including a Project Watch spotlight. Therefore, states do not always appear in alphabetical order.



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