Tennessee Ranked 4th Best State for Business

CHIEF EXECUTIVE Posted by: Jared Coffin  May 7, 2015

The results of our 11th annual survey clearly show that CEOs favor states that foster growth through progressive business development programs, low taxes and a quality living environment. See how your state fared below.

#4 – Tennessee

This southeastern state is proving it has more than just music talent to offer as it becomes a hotbed for automotive manufacturing, with plants for both Nissan and Volkswagen. Tennessee ranks high for living and environment, workforce quality and taxation and regulations.


State GDP

% Growth ’12-’13: 0.80

% Growth ’12-’13 v. Nat’l Avg. (1.80%): -1.00


Unemployment Rate Dec. 2014 %: 6.60

Comparison with Nat’l Rate (5.60%): 1.00

Domestic Migration

Domestic Net Migration 2014: 27028

Rank: 9

State Government

State Debt per Capita Fiscal Year ’13 ($): 956

State & Local Gov’t Employees per 10k Residents: 528

State-Local Tax Burden

Rate (%): 7.60%

Compared to Nat’l Avg. (9.80%): -2.20%

Key Companies

FedEx Services

International Paper Company

Dollar General 

Unum Group


Development Trend Indicator

Down Side

State politicians shouldn’t have messed in Volkswagen’s unionization business.

CEO Comments

“I see Tennessee as a great place to have a $35 million-$40 million electrical contracting firm. Right-to-work is very important.” “Low taxes, and no state income tax is key; you can have an educated workforce and low state taxes; that is why I put Tennessee first.” “The most important element for us is talent and work ethic. Places like Dallas, Nashville and Charlotte are where the talent resides these days. Of course, the tax situation is important too, especially on the personal side.”


1. Texas

2. Florida

3. North Carolina

4. Tennessee

5. Georgia

6. Indiana

7. Louisiana

8, Nevada

9. Arizona

10. South Carolina

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