Listen Live
Aerial cityscape of Raleigh, North Carolina

Source: Ryan Herron / Getty

North Carolina was named one of the top states for business, according to a survey by CNBC released on Tuesday.

The Tar Heel State came in No. 2 overall with the highest rankings for economy and workforce, moving up one spot from third in 2019. A solid profile with life, health and inclusion as the only factor the state scored in the bottom-half– 37th out of 50– with a D- grade.

Other attractive factors for business included a low corporate tax rate of 2.5%, a little over double for the individual tax rate at 5.25%, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 4.8%. Five of the factors had North Carolina in the top ten including business friendliness, access to capital, and technology and innovation.

Not a surprise considering a tech boom is happening in the state’s triangle region with companies like Apple, Epic Games and Oracle all staking claim with major infrastructure builds planned in the coming years.

Check out the entire rankings from CNBC

One of the factors downgraded from two years ago was cost of living, which was ranked 23rd overall (C+) under the current survey. The metropolitan areas of the state recorded a jump in the average price for a two bedroom apartment over the past two years. An average of $1,208 up roughly $153 from 2019, according to Zillow.

The state above North Carolina in the survey was the neighbor to the north with Virginia taking the nation’s top spot for business. A glaring difference between the two states was the ranking for education. North Carolina was 17th overall compared to second-best for Virginia. The southern states were followed by Utah at No. 3, along with Texas and Tennessee to round out the top five.

As for other states in the region, Georgia came in as the sixth-best for business, along with Florida at No. 17– as two of the four in the top 20. South Carolina was one of the worst at 39th overall. The Palmetto State failed to receive an ‘A’ rating for any of the ten categories in the survey. Like North Carolina, the state received a D- grade for life, health and inclusion.