Best and Worst States for Business

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26. Kansas
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +0.2% (9th worst)
> Avg. earnings: $52,466 (18th lowest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 33.7% (14th highest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 0.7 per 100,000 people (9th fewest)

Economic growth can benefit to all businesses in an area, and in 2017, Kansas’s GDP grew by just 0.2%, a slower growth than all but eight other states.

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27. Michigan
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +2.2% (15th best)
> Avg. earnings: $56,264 (21st highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 29.1% (20th lowest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 1.1 per 100,000 people (19th fewest)

Michigan’s GDP grew by 2.2% in 2017, in line with national economic growth. The state’s GDP growth will not likely keep pace with the U.S. for long, however. Population growth can drive economic growth, and between 2020 and 2030, Michigan’s population is projected to decline by 1.1%.

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28. Delaware
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +0.1% (8th worst)
> Avg. earnings: $60,803 (12th highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 31.5% (22nd highest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 5.0 per 100,000 people (5th most)

Businesses in Delaware have done a better job of attracting venture capital investments than almost every other state. There were five VC investments per every 100,000 people in the state in 2018, trailing only four other states, including heavyweights like California and New York. Still Delaware’s economy grew by a sluggish 0.1% in 2017. The U.S. reported 2.2% GDP growth the same year.

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29. New York
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +1.9% (20th best)
> Avg. earnings: $77,084 (the highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.0% (10th highest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 5.3 per 100,000 people (3rd most)

Businesses in New York state drew $14.3 billion in venture capital funding in 2018, the second most of any state. There were also 5.3 VC deals for every 100,000 people in the state the same year, the third most of any state. However, employers have higher average payroll costs in New York than any other state.

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30. Tennessee
> 1-yr. real GDP change: +2.8% (7th best)
> Avg. earnings: $56,469 (20th highest)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 27.3% (12th lowest)
> 2018 venture capital deals: 1.2 per 100,000 people (24th fewest)

Overall, Tennessee’s economy is doing well, growing by 2.8% in 2017, one of the highest growth rates nationwide. Yet the state is not one of the best for business, in part because of a smaller than typical share of higher skill workers. Just 27.3% of adults in Tennessee have a bachelor’s degree, well below the 32.0% share of adults nationwide.