Forbes magazine: Minnesota ranks as nation's 9th for 'business friendliness'


Minnesota ranked ninth overall on Forbes magazine's latest rankings of business-friendly states. North Dakota came in second.

The magazine explains that it uses a formula of 36 data points across six main areas: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

Why does Minnesota rank in the top tier? Here's how Forbes puts it: "Minnesota cracks the top 10 for a second straight year based on a strong current economic climate and quality of life....with companies such as Target, U.S. Bancorp, General Mills, 3M and Medtronic headquartered there. Minnesota has the fourth highest percentage of adults with a high school degree at 92.4 percent."

North Dakota gets high marks for having "the country’s most robust economy over the past five years" due to oil field expansion. The story goes on to praise North Dakota's 9.5 percent annual gross state product growth since 2008, noting it has grown almost three times faster than Texas, which is ranked second.

The Star Tribune's look at the list noted that South Dakota, which runs radio commercials in Minnesota to recruit businesses to move west, was 14th on the list. Wisconsin moved up nine spots to be ranked 32nd; business opportunities in the state emerged as a campaign issue in this month's gubernatorial race.

In July a national website ranked Minnesota as fifth best for small business. In its third annual survey, Thumbtack. com surveyed some 12,000 entrepreneurs nationwide, looking at factors including regulations, taxes and ease of starting a business.

Earlier this year, Minnesota ranked sixth in a survey of the top states for business conducted by CNBC. The business cable TV network has released its rankings for the past eight years, scoring each state on 56 different measures of competitiveness. Minnesota had been ranked 15th in the previous year's survey.

Last year, Minnesota placed eighth on the Forbes list. This year, Utah supplanted Virginia for first place on the 2014 list; Mississippi came in last.

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.