November 17, 2021

Executives rank Texas No. 1 for business climate in U.S.

Corporate real estate executives surveyed by Site Section Magazine ranked Texas as the No. 1 Best Business Climate in the United States, the magazine announced in its November 2021 issue.

“We are pleased to learn that corporate real estate executives ranked Texas No. 1 in the recent Site Selection magazine survey said Robert Allen, President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. “The No. 1 ranking by executives is meaningful because it shows business leaders are having a positive experience in Texas.”

The November 2021 issue of the magazine lists the top 25 state business climates, based on the results of the survey of corporate executives and an index of criteria derived primarily from data in the Conway Projects Database. North Carolina was ranked the Top Business Climate in the United State. Georgia ranked No. 2, with Texas, Ohio and Indiana rounding out the top five states. South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona and Virginia round out the top 10.

The executive survey portion of this year’s rankings has Texas in first place followed by a tie between Florida, Georgia and North Carolina for second and South Carolina at No. 5.

In a survey published with the rankings, workforce skills was the most important of the relevant criteria to site selectors for the sixth year in a row, with transportation infrastructure at No. 2. Workforce development, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, and utility cost and reliability rounded out the top five criteria.

“Texas has the nation’s second largest workforce and a younger workforce. The Texas Workforce Commission, the state’s universities and community colleges and publicly funded workforce training programs ensure that businesses that start or come to Texas will have a robust, highly trained workforce for decades to come,” Allen said.

The following is a list of site selectors’ top location criteria in 2021. 2020 criteria appears in parentheses:

1. Workforce skills (1)
2. Transportation infrastructure (3)
T3. Workforce development (2)
T3. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures (4)
5. Utilities (cost, reliability) (7)
6. Right-to-work state (N/A)

T7. Higher education resources (7)
T7. State and local tax scheme (N/A)
T9. Economic development strategy (N/A)
T9. Land/building prices and supply (N/A)

Site Selection said 50% of the overall Business Climate Ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them. The other 50% is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection’s annual Prosperity Cup ranking (May 2021); total Conway Projects Database-compliant facilities in 2020; total new facilities in 2020 per capita; total 2021 new projects year-to-date; total 2021 projects year-to-date per capita; and corporate and property tax data from the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Index.

Site Selection also ranked Texas No. 1 among states by total Foreign-Trade Zone economic impact. California, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee rounded out the top five. Texas led the nation in foreign direct investment  as well as foreign trade exports in 2020 for the 19th year in a row.

The Atlanta-based Site Selection Magazine is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development field, with a circulation of 45,000 executive decision makers.