Maryland accelerated into the #12 position in CNBC’s annual “America’s best states for business” list, climbing 19 places from its former #31 ranking in 2019. CNBC did not release its list last year due to the pandemic. The rankings are based on 85 metrics in 10 different categories, including cost of doing business; infrastructure; workforce; economy; business friendliness; access to capital; technology and innovation; education; cost of living; and life, health and inclusion.

Maryland’s highest rating was achieved in the technology and innovation category, where the State placed #2, followed by a #8 ranking for Infrastructure and a #10 finish for workforce. Overall, Maryland moved up in eight of the 10 categories. The greatest improvement was in the infrastructure category where it ranked #41 two years ago.

The categories are not weighted equally: cost of doing business is worth 16% of the overall scores while cost of living is worth only 3%.

Initiated in 2007, the ranking introduced “life, health and inclusion” as a new metric this year, which examines issues such as healthcare, crime rates and environmental quality. The category replaced the previously included quality of life category.

The jump is tremendous news for local economic development groups vying for out-of-state companies to establish a presence in Maryland. In the latest rankings, Pennsylvania finished #23, Delaware placed #27 and West Virginia was #47.