Utah is the best state for business, according to a new survey by Forbes.
Utah topped Virginia, which had led the pack for the preceding four years, Forbes said.
North Carolina was No. 3, followed by Colorado and Washington.
Georgia came in No. 8. Maine placed last.
Forbes’ Best States ranking measures six categories — costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
While No. 8 overall, Georgia placed first in regulatory environment. It’s lowest ranking was in quality of life, where the state placed 35th.
Utah’s strong economy helped push the state to the top spot. Its economy has expanded 3.5% annually over the past five years, faster than any other state except North Dakota, Forbes said. This was three-and-a-half times faster than the U.S. as a whole.
Total employment in the U.S. has shrunk over the past five years, but in Utah it increased 1.5% annually, Forbes said. Household incomes have surged 5% annually,