Massachusetts Again Ranks First in Competitiveness

12/21/2009

For the second year in a row, Massachusetts ranks first in the Beacon Hill Institute’s annual State Competitiveness Report for its ability to promote economic growth and provide high income for its workers over the long term.

Suffolk University's Beacon Hill Institute bases its competitiveness index on a set of 43 indicators divided into eight subindexes:

  • government and fiscal policy
  • security
  • infrastructure
  • human resources
  • technology
  • business incubation
  • openness
  • environmental policy

The breadth of the BHI index distinguishes it from more narrowly focused measures of competitiveness that target only taxes, high tech, or economic freedom.

“The Institute remains persistent in providing the long view: State competitiveness, the ability of a state to promote sustainable economic and income growth for its citizens, is a reliable indicator of future performance,” said Professor of Economics Jonathan Haughton, one of the principal authors of the report. “There may be little that states can do to address the current global economic insecurity, but competitiveness, as a measure, has other virtues. For example, it can help states find ways to keep firms within their borders productive, its standards for education above average, and its infrastructure sound.”

Based on its strong showing in the measures of technology, business incubation and human resources, Massachusetts remains at the top, closely followed by North Dakota, and then by Utah, Minnesota, and Wyoming.

Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Iowa, and Idaho round out the top 10 most competitive states.

Alaska, capitalizing on increasing oil revenues, was the most improved this year, up 17 places.

New Hampshire, a perennial competitor from New England, held third place only two years ago, but slipped to 17th last year; this year it improved slightly to the 15th position. Vermont finished 18th while other New England states finished in the middle of the pack: Maine (23), Rhode Island (29) and Connecticut (26).

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