News & Media

North Carolina Ties at No. 1 in Site Selection Magazine’s Top Business Climate Rankings

After five straight years of trailing only Georgia, a preeminent publication for the corporate site selection industry now ranks North Carolina in a tie with the Peach State as the best in the nation to locate or expand a business.

Site Selection magazine recently released its annual ranking of the nation’s top business climates, placing North Carolina and Georgia at No. 1. The two states were followed by Ohio in third, and Texas and South Carolina tied for fourth. Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky and Tennessee round out the 10 top states. Previously, North Carolina enjoyed a six-year run in the top spot from 2005 through 2010.

Site Selection is published by Conway Data Inc., which delivers expansion planning information to 48,000 executives of fast-growing firms.

“We’re thrilled North Carolina has received this recognition, and to be part of the team of state and local partners that helped make 2019 a decade-topping year for North Carolina in terms of corporate recruitment and expansion announcements that promise 21,000 new jobs,” said Christopher Chung, CEO of of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, which markets the state for business growth. “In 2020, this same team of partners remains committed to working together to help existing businesses in the state, as well as those that want to locate here, successfully navigate the challenges of a global pandemic.”

Half of the Site Selection ranking relies on a survey of corporate real estate executives asked to rank states based on their recent experience in locating facilities within them. This year, the executive survey put Texas in first place, followed by North Carolina and South Carolina tied for second. Georgia and Tennessee round out the top five.

The other 50% is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection’s annual Prosperity Cup ranking; total Conway Projects Database-compliant facilities in 2019; total new facilities in 2019 per capita; total 2020 new projects year to date; total 2020 projects year to date per capita; and corporate and property tax data from Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Index.

Statewide, economic development announcements in 2020 include health insurance giant Centene’s $1 billion regional headquarters in Charlotte, with up to 6,000 new jobs; Pratt & Whitney’s plant in Asheville with 800 new jobs; and Bandwidth’s 1,165-job expansion in Raleigh.

“Our readers are keenly interested in our annual state business climate ranking, because they seek locations with the greatest prospects for success,” said Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. “North Carolina is a consistently strong performer in this ranking and has demonstrated once again that is it has the business-climate attributes it takes to reach first place.”

Source: Warfield, Andy. “North Carolina Ties at No. 1 in Site Selection Magazine’s Top Business Climate Rankings.”, 4 Nov. 2020, 2:09 pm,