California: “The Nation State”

When it comes to rankings, the Golden State is all over the place

CNBC just released its third annual look at where the 50 United States rank when it comes to doing business and California didn't do well.

We dropped seven spots from last year, finishing No. 32 overall on the list just behind Arkansas.

CNBC used California as an example of the nation's financial problems, calling it "a nation state."  

Our budget deficit is $53 billion and growing by the day. Unemployment has been in the double digits for months. And let's not forget -- the state's foreclosure rate is second only to Nevada.

The Golden State also claims the biggest year to year drop for any category in the study: quality of life.  Last year we ranked No. 4 in quality of life.  This year we dropped to No. 19.

If the study is true, we are "solidly in the bottom half" when it comes to top states for business.

California ranked No. 49 in three categories: cost of business, business friendliess and cost of living.

We ranked No. 1 in two catergories: technology/innovation and access to capital.

Here's the breakdown specifically for California.

CNBC blams the state of the economy for forcing some drastic changes in the business landscape.  When CNBC released its 2008 study last July, the price of oil had just hit a record $147 a barrel and the depths of the economic meltdown were still a couple months away.

Today, oil is half the price, we have a new president and are living through the worst recession in six decades. 

Which state ranked No. 1? Virginia.  Texas is No. 2. 

CNBC got its scores using publicly available data that looked at 40 different categories. States received points based on their rankings in each category. CNBC also used input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers. It also weighted the categories based on how frequently each is cited in state economic development marketing materials.

Here are the 10 categories ranked in the study:

  • Cost of Doing Business
  • Workforce
  • Quality of Life
  • Economy
  • Transportation
  • Technology & Innovation
  • Education
  • Business Friendliness
  • Access to Capital
  • Cost of Living

Here's a look at all the rankings.

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