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Wondering Where to Move? Follow This Map


College grads and young families, take note: the best place to start your life might be in a state you least expect. Those looking to start a business or launch a career might want to consult the Enterprise State Dashboard, a data survey put together by the US Chamber of Commerce. The interactive report ranks all fifty states by economic performance, short- and long-term job growth, business climate, intellectual capital, entrepreneurship, and more.

The Chamber of Commerce of course has an agenda of its own, so the report is not holy writ. But the rankings jibe with much of what we’ve been pointing out here at Via Meadia: with the blue social model in distress, states making it easier to take risks and start a business are gaining significant ground. (Oh, and those quick to exploit the shale revolution are seeing returns too.)

Here’s the “Economic Performance Index” finding:

Booming North Dakota leads the way again in overall economic performance, owing to the confluence of its energy boom, strong agricultural economy, and (perhaps surprisingly) well-educated young workforce. Two more energy-rich states, Wyoming and Oklahoma, also appear in the top 10. Texas offers the strongest economic momentum as the fastest-growing large state. High-tech and innovation fuel growth in Virginia, Washington, Utah, and Maryland, while Louisiana bounces back strongly in the face of economic headwinds to rank 8th overall.

However, blue states still do offer some advantages. For example, Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland sit at the top of the rankings for the “Talent Pipeline Index”, a measure of “higher education efficiency and attainment, the rigor of high school coursework, and the performance of the state job assistance system.” California is smack in the middle of this pack, and Alabama and Delaware are at the bottom.

Take a look for yourself. The map of wealth and opportunity is shifting. It’s this flexibility and seemingly inexhaustible capacity for reinvention that continues to keep America globally competitive.

[Map image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Jim Luebke

    America’s advantage over Europe: our common language.

    An American with poor prospects in his home state can easily pick up and move to one with better opportunities. Europe’s polyglot nature (and frankly, their will-sapping welfare state) complicates their youth going off to seek their fortunes.

  • Anthony

    Enterprising States Report is handy input when considering U.S. states and probabilistic economic growth – 5 metrics though broad based provide framework to measure state performance and chances going forward; interactive report is worth viewing for any one interested in state economic indicators as well as public policy.

  • Brendan Doran

    And when there’s no place to run from our rapacious predator State? And what if you’re not a runner?

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