How Alabama Ranks Among Top States For Business

Updated: Jul 21

Recent rankings of Alabama's Business Environment


Alabama ranked 33rd in CNBC's recent 15th annual report of "America's Top States for Business". Last year, the financial news network ranked Alabama 31st, the state's highest ranking in the 15 years CNBC has published this study.


In the South, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, and Georgia finished in the Top 10, with Florida finishing right behind them at 11th. South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi finished behind Alabama.


The CNBC study employed eighty-eight metrics across ten categories. Here is how Alabama ranked in each of the CNBC categories:

  • Cost of Living - 3rd

  • Workforce - 13th

  • Technology and Innovation - 21st

  • Cost of Doing Business -24th

  • Business Friendliness -25th

  • Economy - 27th

  • Education - 34th

  • Access to Capital - 34th

  • Life, Health and Inclusion - 38th

  • Infrastructure - 38th


CNBC handed out grades with Alabama getting an A for "Cost of Living," B+ for "Cost of Doing Business," and B for "Workforce". Alabama's lowest grades came with it's D+ in "Access to Capital," D in "Infrastructure," and D- in "Life, Health and Inclusion".


The CNBC rankings have been higher during Governor Kay Ivey's tenure than during her two predecessors time in office. Bob Riley served as Governor from 2003 to 2011, while Robert Bentley was Governor from 2011 to 2017. You can view CNBC's past rankings here.


CNBC's 33rd place ranking for Alabama is close to the ranking of 39th by the Tax Foundation in their December, 2021 state rankings. The Tax Foundation rankings focused on "Business Tax Climate". Alabama was hurt by finishing dead last in the sales tax category.


In the South, the Tax Foundation ranked Florida and Tennessee in the top ten in the country, coming in at number four and eight, respectively. Alabama ranked above only Arkansas and Louisiana among southern states. Arkansas and Louisiana ranked in the bottom ten in the country.


Alabama's ranking for the other Tax Foundation categories were as follows:

  • Corporate Tax Rate - 17th

  • Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate - 18th

  • Property Tax Rate - 19th

  • Individual Income Tax Rate - 27th

In the Tax Foundation rankings, Governor Kay Ivey did not rank any higher than her predecessor, Robert Bentley. The Tax Foundation began this ranking in 2014.