Texas has been ranked the best business climate in the United States, the first time the state has received the top ranking since 2011.
The study performed by Site Selection Magazine ranked each U.S. state by leveraging 10 different factors, including a survey of corporate site selectors and independent measures of states’ attractiveness to capital investors.
Although this year’s ranking marks a high point for Texas, the state routinely finishes strong, landing at third overall in 2022.
Texas received an overall score of 410 points in the 2023 rankings, significantly higher than Georgia’s second-place score of 361 total points.
Virginia, which ranked first last year, finished as the third-best business climate in 2023 with an overall score of 344.
Gov. Greg Abbott shared his excitement about the ranking while speaking at his home in Austin on Wednesday, adding that it is a “testament to the exceptional economic development professionals and chambers of commerce in Texas.”
“Today, we celebrate another victory for Texas — this time with Texas listed as the No.1 business climate in the United States of America,” said Abbott in a press release sent to The Dallas Express.
“Texas is America’s economic juggernaut, and we are now the eighth-largest economy in the entire world. We cut red tape, we have lower taxes, and we have the best workforce in the United States. Most importantly, the Texas economy is great for all Texans,” the governor continued. “Texas is the modern embodiment of the American dream — the land of freedom for entrepreneurs. Thank you to the hardworking people of Texas for making this award possible.”
During an interview with Site Selection, Abbott emphasized the size of Texas’ economy, saying, “Whether a company is new to our great state or has been in operation for years, when those businesses succeed, Texans succeed.”
“We see the impact of that economic development model year after year as we continue to attract new jobs and capital investment from across the country and around the globe,” he added.
The business climate ranking comes following a historic month for the state, with September tallying a record-high 14,049,400 total jobs, according to the Office of the Texas Governor.
Site Selection’s editor-in-chief, Mark Arend, spoke alongside Abbott on Wednesday to “congratulate the state-level and local economic developers throughout Texas for working to cultivate a business climate that is the best in the U.S.”
“Having won Site Selection’s Governor’s Cup for total capital investment projects in 2022 earlier this year, Texas for the second time in 2023 is demonstrating that it has in place what businesses look for most when expanding or relocating,” said Arend.
Many business officials, such as JPMorgan Bank CEO Jamie Dimon, have commended Texas’ business-friendly atmosphere and cited it as a major reason they conduct business in the state.
“It’s hospitable. It’s the infrastructure, it’s the education, it’s the taxes. They want business, they support it,” Dimon said, per The Dallas Morning News.
“It’s conducive to helping everybody. That’s how you build a healthy, vibrant society. And so we’re urging them here not to become like Washington, D.C., which does almost everything it can to slow down the growth of companies.”