Best and Worst States for Business

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6. Washington
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +4.7% (the best)
> Avg. earnings: $68,695 (6th highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.5% (11th highest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 4.9 per 100,000 people (6th most)

With large companies like Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in the state, Washington is one of the nation’s technology hubs. As many as 8.9% of jobs are in STEM fields — science technology, engineering, and math — one of the highest proportions of any state.

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7. Texas
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +1.3% (20th worst)
> Avg. earnings: $58,916 (16th highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 29.6% (22nd lowest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 1.5 per 100,000 people (21st most)

Texas is home to companies like Texas Instruments, ExxonMobil, and AT&T. Corporations in the Lone Star State were granted 9,934 patents in 2015, the second most of any state, trailing only California.

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8. New Hampshire
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +2.5% (11th best)
> Avg. earnings: $60,206 (13th highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.9% (8th highest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 2.4 per 100,000 people (11th most)

Businesses in New Hampshire benefit from relatively low operating costs. For example, the state has a relatively business friendly tax climate, and the average commercial electricity bill is just $504 a month, about $150 less than the national average.

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9. Florida
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +2.2% (16th best)
> Avg. earnings: $50,043 (12th lowest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 29.7% (23rd lowest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 1.1 per 100,000 people (20th fewest)

Florida is a right to work state, meaning union membership cannot be a precondition to employment. This helps keep payroll costs for employers in the state low. The average annual earnings per job in Florida is only $50,000, about $10,600 lower than the national average.

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10. California
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +3.0% (6th best)
> Avg. earnings: $71,967 (4th highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 33.6% (16th highest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 7.7 per 100,000 people (2nd most)

California is a hotbed of innovation. Businesses in the state drew in $77.3 billion in venture capital funding in 2018 alone — the most of any state and more than quadruple the funding reported in New York, the state with the second most VC funding last year. There were also 7.7 VC deals for every 100,000 people in the state in 2018, the second most of any state.