Low taxes, light regulatory burdens, high-quality workforces, and healthy lifestyles continue to attract business investment and jobs. For the sixth straight year, Texas and Florida sit atop the list of the best states for business in Chief Executive magazine’s 14th annual Best & Worst States for Business survey, which was released today. North Carolina and South Carolina were tied at No. 3 on the list, with Indiana coming in at No. 5 for the third straight year. The Chief Executive rankings reflect CEO perceptions of best and worst states based on Taxes & Regulation, Workforce Quality and Living Environment. Rhode Island was the biggest gainer in 2018, moving up 10 places to No. 32.

The five worst states for business according to CEOs are California (No. 50), New York (No. 49), Illinois (No. 48), New Jersey (No. 47), and Connecticut (No. 46).

The Best & Worst States for Business survey captures the perceptions of CEOs on a range of important issues. These rankings are crucial, as CEO perception drives investments in offices, factories and other facilities that bring jobs and investment to a region. This year, 300 CEOs across industries participated in the survey.

In addition to the overall state rankings, Chief Executive’s 2018 Best & Worst States for Business survey also presents individual category rankings, including workforce, taxes/regulation and living environment.

Full results and additional information can be found on ChiefExecutive.net, and in the May/June issue of Chief Executive magazine.

“CEOs are the key decision-makers that decide when and where companies create jobs,” said Chris Chalk, publisher of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “This year’s survey shows that business-friendly policies have a direct impact on the reputation of each state, ultimately determining which states thrive.”

Rankings in key categories include:

Workforce quality: 1. Iowa 2. Utah 3. Delaware

Taxes and Regulation: 1. South Dakota 2. Wyoming 3. Texas

Living Environment: 1. Colorado 2. Utah 3. New Hampshire

Other findings from the 2018 Best & Worst States for Business survey include:

Texas topped the list for the fourteenth straight year, while Florida was runner-up for the sixth consecutive year.

The same states have held the top five spots for seven years running, with some shuffling in numbers 2 to 5.

Michigan rose nine spots in the ranking to No. 27, New Hampshire gained seven spots to No. 24, and Kansas moved up eight spots to No. 19.

Idaho saw the biggest drop, falling 10 spots to No. 28, and Alaska slipped nine places to No. 43.