Mapping the Best (and Worst) States in Which to Start a Business

How does your state fare in terms of economic innovation and government burden?

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Americans have always been a mobile people, ready to go wherever opportunity takes them. That's especially true when it comes to American business people. The Sun Belt boomed and the rust belt rusted as entrepreneurs moved to some states and started businesses there while other states were abandoned.

But where are the hot spots today? Which states have the best climate for new businesses to thrive, in terms of regulation, quality of workforce, taxes, and more? Which states are going to spur the innovative businesses of the future? Two recent studies attempted to rank the 50 states based on two of the most important of these factors: First, which states are the best in terms of the economic infrastructure—jobs, education, technology, etc—most conducive to economic innovation? Second, which states have the policies in place that are least burdensome to businesses?

This map lets you click on your state and see where it measures up in the overall rankings of these studies and in some of their most important indicators.

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The first study, the 2008 New State Economy Index by the Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, rates states based on their ability to shift to the new economic landscape that will channel growth in the future.

To read more about Kauffman's New State Economy Index and what the indicators used in our map mean, click here.

The second study, the Small Business Survival Index 2008 by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, looks at something that Kauffman's study deliberately excludes: the policy environment of each state toward businesses and how many costs it imposes.

To read more about the SBEC's Small Business Survival Index and its indicators used in our map, click here.

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