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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia has been featured on CNBC’s “America’s top states for business“ for the 2024 ranking.

The Commonwealth’s top spot represents an improvement over 2023, when Virginia finished second behind North Carolina.


According to CNBC, all 50 states were evaluated on 128 criteria across 10 broad categories of competitiveness. For a full breakdown of the publication’s methodology, see the CNBC website.

“Each category is weighted by how frequently states use it as a selling point in economic development marketing materials. In this way, our study ranks states based on the attributes they use to sell themselves,” says the rankings webpage, attributed to the staff of CNBC.com. “We developed our criteria and metrics in consultation with a variety of economic and policy experts, as well as the states.”

Virginia performed particularly well in the infrastructure and education categories, coming third and first, respectively.

“The state has experienced record job growth and welcomed over $74 billion in investment, including major corporations like Amazon Web Services, The LEGO Group, Raytheon and Boeing, as well as major expansions from others like Hilton, Northrop Grumman and Framatome,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Economic development is a team sport, and Virginia has made great strides in creating operational-ready sites, developing the workforce, reducing regulations, investing in infrastructure and all of those energy solutions. I am thrilled that our great state has been named the best business state in America.”

A press release from Youngkin’s office also stated, Virginia Talent Accelerator Program was rated as the most customized workforce training program in the United States by Facilities in general in 2023 and 2024.

“Virginia is competing with over $550 million in site development funding to accelerate construction and expand the inventory of ready-to-build land for employers before they come to Virginia,” the press release states. “Site readiness has been the deciding factor in numerous major projects won by Virginia recently, including the LEGO Group.”

CNBC weighted infrastructure – including immediately developable sites – as the most important component of its methodology.

This is not the first time Virginia has ranked first in America’s Top States for Business. The state previously took the top spot in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021.