RALEIGH – North Carolina is the No. 2 state as a place to business, according to CNBC which issued its annual report Tuesday.

It’s the best performance to date in the CNBC analysis, which dates back to 2007. The study was not published in 2020 due to the pandemic.

All states are scored across 85 metrics divided into 10 broad categories of competitiveness. Virginia topped North Carolina for No. 1 – but barely. Out of 2,500 possible points Virginia received 1,587 – 41 more than North Carolina.

North Carolina scores well regularly in such rankings, such as Site Magazine’s business overview report last November when the state scored second.

However, North Carolina would have scored better in this report – probably coming in first – if it had performed better in the Life, Health and Inclusion category where the state ranked 37th. Inclusion is a top consideration in this year’s revamped ranking system, CNBC noted.

“North Carolina does well in Economy (No. 4) with solid growth, and Workforce (No. 6) with a steady influx of educated workers. Both helped persuade Apple earlier this year to choose the Research Triangle area outside Raleigh for its first East Coast corporate campus,” CNBC noted.

“But as one of only five states with no statewide public accommodation law to protect nondisabled residents against discrimination according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina falls short on Life, Health and Inclusion (No. 37), potentially enough to keep the top spot out of reach.”

CNBC chart

Points available by category:

  • Cost of Doing Business – 400 points
  • Infrastructure – 375 points
  • Life, Health and Inclusion (formerly Quality of Life) – 375 points
  • Workforce – 325 points
  • Economy – 250 points
  • Business Friendliness – 200 points
  • Access to Capital – 175 points
  • Technology and Innovation – 175 points
  • Education – 150 points
  • Cost of Living – 75 points

Previous years rankings: Check this site.