NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Economic Development Will Skip Some States

January 12, 2000

Although the U.S. as a whole is riding an economic boom, some states could fall increasingly behind while others are poised for increasing prosperity in the years ahead. That is the conclusion of a study from the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

The organization compared the prospects for all 50 states, ranking them "A" to "F" on three criteria -- performance, business vitality and development capacity.

  • Colorado and Utah received A's in all three categories.
  • These were followed by Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, Delaware, Michigan and New Jersey -- which received mixtures of A's and B's.
  • States with poor prospects were Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico.
  • Dead last, with all F's, was West Virginia.

The CFED drew attention to the growing concentration of resources for innovation. California, for example, garnered 46 percent of the nation's venture-capital investments in 1998.

If this pattern continues, those states left out in the cold could find themselves falling further and further behind.

Source: Gene Koretz, "Vying for the Fast Track," Business Week, December 20, 1999.


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