North Dakota is 12th Best State for Business 2014

The oil boom in North Dakota is driving increases in job availability there, so much so that Census Director John Thompson told the Associated Press that North Dakota was the fastest growing state in the nation. The unemployment rate there is a full 4.1% less than the national average.

Previous State: Virginia Next State: Utah

No. 12 North Dakota

Taxations & Regulations

Workforce Quality

Living Environment

Key Metrics
State GDP 

  • % Growth ’12-’13: 9.7
  • % Growth ’11-’12 v. Nat’l Avg. (2.5%): 10.9


  • Unemployment Rate Dec. 2013 %: 2.6
  • Comparison with Nat’l Rate (6.70%): -4.1

Domestic Migration

  • Domestic Net Migration 2013: 16,961
  • Rank: 8

State Government

  • State Debt per Capita Fiscal Year ’13 ($): 3,213
  • State & Local Gov’t Employees per 10k Residents: 649.5

State-Local Tax Burden

  • Rate (%): 8.9%
  • Compared to Nat’l Avg. (9.9%): -0.96%
Key Companies
  • MDU Resources
  • Titan Machinery
  • Investors Real Estate Trust
Development Trend Indicator: Positive
Energy boom funds surprise $850-million property-tax reduction for residents.
CEO Comments
“The cost of doing business on the east coast vs. Midwest is dramatically different. I continue to move jobs out of PA and into other operations in KS, NE and ND as the costs (healthcare, workers comp) are significantly higher and worker productivity levels are significantly lower. East Coast employees have learned how to game the system and the elected officials appear to be OK with this.” 

“North Dakota: Bad weather, culture of getting things done, better place to live than California.”

Based on CEO Survey by

Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Tax Foundation


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events