Colorado is the 16th Best State for Business 2014

In addition to the business activity that legalized marijuana is driving, Colorado is also considered a good state for startups, ranking No. 6 in the Kaufmann Index with its legacy of technology and new-age food companies. Four of Colorado’s cities—Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland, Denver and Colorado Springs—were considered top U.S. metro areas for high-tech startup density.

Previous State: South Dakota Next State: Alabama

No. 16 Colorado

Taxations & Regulations

Workforce Quality

Living Environment

Key Metrics
State GDP 

  • % Growth ’12-’13: 3.8
  • % Growth ’11-’12 v. Nat’l Avg. (2.5%): -0.4


  • Unemployment Rate Dec. 2013 %: 6.2
  • Comparison with Nat’l Rate (6.70%): -0.5

Domestic Migration

  • Domestic Net Migration 2013: 36,284
  • Rank: 4

State Government

  • State Debt per Capita Fiscal Year ’13 ($): 3,111
  • State & Local Gov’t Employees per 10k Residents: 541.9

State-Local Tax Burden

  • Rate (%): 9.1%
  • Compared to Nat’l Avg. (9.9%): -0.77%
Key Companies
  • Newmont Mining
  • Liberty Global
Development Trend Indicator: Negative
Business-friendliness gets shaky as state deals with legal-marijuana fallout.
CEO Comments
“With Colorado’s new drug laws, I would definitely hesitate to locate a new business there.” 

“Colorado is trying to imitate California. We are Colorado headquartered, but the majority of our capital expansion plans will be in Texas.”

Based on CEO Survey by

Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Tax Foundation


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