North Carolina is No. 1 as a “state business climate” for the sixth consecutive year, says Site Selection magazine.

The Tar Heel state has now rankled first in the annual survey in nine of the last 10 years.

The magazine bases its survey on data gathered from corporate site selectors as well as its own database of new and expanded facilities.

Southern states dominated the rankings with Tennessee second, Texas third, Virginia fourth and South Carolina fifth.

Georgia tied with Ohio for sixth.

North Carolina ranked first in the executive survey and first in new plant rankings for January through August of this year.

The state ranked sixth in competitiveness, seventh in new plants for 2009 and 10th in new plants per million population.

The index credited North Carolina with a score of 379 points, eight better than Tennessee.

“All states face economic and budgetary challenges these days, but this ranking reminds us that there are significant success stories, too,” said Site Selection Editor-in-Chief Mark Arend in a statement. “North Carolina’s first-place finish underscores its success across a wide spectrum of industries, from aerospace to life sciences to energy. We commend the governor and her economic development team for their focus on making and keeping their state business-friendly.”

South Carolina ranked fourth in new plant locations from January to August this year, fifth in the executive survey, 11th in competitiveness, 14th in new plant rankings per million population and 16th in new plant rankings for last year.

Georgia ranked best in the executive survey rank at third followed by seventh in bew plant locations through August of this year, 15th in competitiveness, 17th in new plant rank last year, and 29th i9n new plants per million population.

In the survey of corporate executives, which was conducted in October, North Carolina finished first followed by Texas (2), Georgia (3), Tennessee (4), South Carolina (5), Florida (6), Louisiana (7), Virginia (8), Alabama (9) and Arizona (10).

Business executives evaluated the states based on:

1. Work force skills
2. State and local tax scheme
3. Transportation infrastructure
4. Flexibility of incentive programs
5. Availability of incentives and
(tie) Utility infrastructure
7. Land/building costs and supply
8. State economic development strategy
9. Permitting and regulatory structure
10. Higher education resources

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