R.I. ranks No. 46 on CNBC’s state business rankings

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranks No. 46 among all states in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business 2021” rankings released Tuesday.

The Ocean State was ranked second lowest among New England states this year, ahead of only Maine.

Rhode Island ranked last among all states in CNBC’s 2019 rankings. No rankings were released in 2020.

For the report, states were evaluated on 85 metrics in 10 categories: Cost of doing business; infrastructure; life, health and inclusion; workforce; economy; business friendliness; access to capital; technology and innovation; education; and cost of living.

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Rhode Island received its lowest grades, three “F” grades, for its cost of doing business, access to capital and cost of living.

The state also received a “D” grade for infrastructure, a “D+” for its economy, “C” grades for both its business friendliness and workforce, and a “C+ for education. Rhode Island’s highest grade of all categories was for its life, health and inclusion at a “B-”, which ranked No, 13 in the nation. 

New England states generally fared poorly in the rankings, with none cracking the top 10 for 2021.

Massachusetts ranked highest of all states in the region at No. 14, followed by Connecticut at No. 24, New Hampshire at No. 37, Vermont at No. 42, Rhode Island at No. 46 and Maine at No. 48.

Virginia ranked No. 1 overall this year, followed by North Carolina and Utah. Alaska ranked lowest among all states, followed by Hawaii.