Get our free mobile app

If you're looking for a top state in which to do business in the Midwest, you can't do better much better than here in Minnesota.

And, as they say, that's not bragging, that's a fact. At least it is, according to this year's CNBC survey of the Top States for Business. The annual survey is back again for 2021, after taking 2020 off due to... stop me if you've heard this already... the pandemic.

To compile their rankings, CNBC looked at 85 different metrics across 10 general categories to order the states from one to 50. And Minnesota came in ranked 7th this year, beating out every other state in the Midwest. Only Virginia (ranked #1), North Carolina (#2), Utah (#3), Texas (#4), Tennessee (#5) and Georgia (#6) ranked higher than we did here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

When it comes to our fellow Midwest states, the next closest to The North Star State is Ohio at #10, Michigan at #11, and Nebraska at #13. Illinois came in ranked #15, while my home state of Wisconsin was ranked 21st. Our neighbors to the south down in Iowa were ranked one spot ahead of Wisconsin, coming in at #20.

Minnesota got high marks in CNBC's categories of Life & Health where we ranked 4th, Technology & Innovation where we also ranked fourth), Education where we came in ranked 5th, and Infrastructure where we ranked 12th.

We have a little work to do, though, when it comes to the Cost of Doing Business; this was our worst category ranking, where Minnesota came in 42nd out of 50. According to CNBC, these rankings take into account a state's taxes, the cost of office space, and its wage costs. All things that have historically seem a bit high here in the Bold North.


Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 on 103.9 The Doc

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.