The 19 US states where young people are moving in, jobs are plentiful, and business is booming

Is your state on the list?

Is your state on the list?
Flickr / N i c o l a

  • U.S. News & World Report just released its annual best states ranking.
  • The rate of economic growth, the employment rate, and the rate of new business formation were all taken into account.
  • The list of the best economies in the US is topped by Colorado, Utah, and Washington.

If you’re considering a move across the country, you’ll definitely want to know where the economy is strongest – and weakest.

U.S. News & World Report just released its annual best states ranking, and they looked partly at economic factors. Each state was ranked on three economic indicators:

  • Growth: The GDP growth rate, average net migration (people moving into and out of the state) between 2013 and 2016, and growth of the young population between 2013 and 2016.
  • Employment: The annual growth rate of nonfarm jobs between 2013 and 2016, the percentage of state residents age 16 and older who participated in the labor force, and the December 2017 unemployment rate.
  • Business: The rate at which new businesses were formed between 2015 and 2017, total state and local taxes as a percent of total state income, the average number of patents granted between 2014 and 2016 per million residents, the number of top company headquarters per million residents in 2016, and venture capital dollars invested per $1,000 of nominal state gross domestic product in 2016.

Combining growth (50%), employment (30%), and business (20%), U.S. News & World Report put together their list of the best economies in the US. Colorado took the cake, followed by Utah and Washington.

Read on for the list of the 19 US states with the best economies – and see how it compares to last year’s.

19. North Dakota

Matt Zimmerman/Flickr

Population: 0.76 million

Growth rank: 20

Employment rank: 2

Business environment rank: 42

18. North Carolina

Bryan Pollard/Shutterstock

Population: 10.15 million

Growth rank: 15

Employment rank: 28

Business environment rank: 21

17. Iowa

SD Dirk/Flickr

Population: 3.13 million

Growth rank: 17

Employment rank: 8

Business environment rank: 46

16. Arizona

Wikimedia Commons

Population: 6.93 million

Growth rank: 14

Employment rank: 34

Business environment rank: 14

15. South Carolina

Cvandyke / Shutterstock

Population: 4.96 million

Growth rank: 7

Employment rank: 26

Business environment rank: 36

14. Georgia

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Population: 10.31 million

Growth rank: 10

Employment rank: 27

Business environment rank: 19

13. Tennessee

Jeff Gunn/Flickr

Population: 6.65 million

Growth rank: 13

Employment rank: 20

Business environment rank: 23

12. Nevada

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Population: 2.94 million

Growth rank: 9

Employment rank: 37

Business environment rank: 8

11. New Hampshire

Flickr / Robert Linsdell

Population: 1.33 million

Growth rank: 18

Employment rank: 5

Business environment rank: 12

10. Delaware


Population: 0.95 million

Growth rank: 8

Employment rank: 33

Business environment rank: 6

9. Massachusetts

Population: 6.81 million

Growth rank: 19

Employment rank: 9

Business environment rank: 2

8. Texas


Population: 27.86 million

Growth rank: 12

Employment rank: 19

Business environment rank: 13

7. Idaho

Charles Knowles/Shutterstock

Population: 1.68 million

Growth rank: 11

Employment rank: 11

Business environment rank: 10

6. Oregon

Jeff Gunn/flickr

Population: 4.09 million

Growth rank: 3

Employment rank: 21

Business environment rank: 20

5. Florida

Joe Raedle/Getty

Population: 20.61 million

Growth rank: 2

Employment rank: 32

Business environment rank: 7

4. California


Population: 39.25 million

Growth rank: 5

Employment rank: 29

Business environment rank: 1

3. Washington

Is your state on the list?

Flickr / N i c o l a

Population: 7.29 million

Growth rank: 1

Employment rank: 24

Business environment rank: 4

2. Utah

Garrett/Creative Commons

Population: 3.05 million

Growth rank: 6

Employment rank: 4

Business environment rank: 5

1. Colorado

Flickr/Jack Gray

Population: 5.54 million

Growth rank: 4

Employment rank: 3

Business environment rank: 3