Virginia Dubbed “Most Livable State” by United States Chamber of Commerce

Virginia Dubbed “Most Livable State” by United States Chamber of Commerce

On June 15, the United States Chamber of Commerce named Virginia as America’s “Most Livable State” in its annual “Enterprising States: Policies that Produce” ranking. The report noted that Virginia ranks #1 nationally in median family income, STEM job concentration and in the high-tech share of all businesses.

The top performing states are determined by a combination of the following measures:

       Long-term job growth

       Short-term job growth

       Overall expansion of gross state product

       Productivity: state output per job

       Productivity growth: growth in output per job

       Income growth: growth in per capita personal income

       Livability: median income of four-person households adjusted for state cost of living

Virginia placed in the top 25 in all seven measures, including seventh in productivity growth and tenth in GSP growth. The Commonwealth State was ranked third overall in the top performing states but recorded the highest income in the nation for a family of four after adjusting for cost of living, leading to the U.S. Chamber commending it as the “Most Livable State.”

The report attributes Virginia’s success to its low tax and regulatory environment, its highly educated workforce, potential as a transportation and industrial hub, Governor Bob McDonnell’s ‘forward-looking’ Top Jobs of the 21st Century higher education legislation, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s aggressive job creation efforts, the Port of Virginia, the governor’s $4 billion transportation funding program and the governor’s “Year of the Entrepreneur” effort.

Speaking about the “Enterprising States” report from the U.S. Chamber, Governor McDonnell said, “This report confirms what we already knew: that Virginia is the best state in which to make a living and pursue the American Dream. What makes Virginia’s jobs climate the best in the nation is that our policy-makers listen to our entrepreneurs and job creators. I am pleased to see this affirmation of Virginia’s pro-jobs policies from the world’s largest business federation and will work tirelessly to build and sustain a business climate that will put more Virginians back to work.  We will also study this report and continue to reach out to businesses in Virginia and abroad to see how we can continue to improve and grow and attract more jobs to Virginia.”

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling said, “This is great news for Virginia, and further indication that the emphasis we have placed on improving Virginia’s economy is working.  We’ve clearly made a lot of progress over the past two years in re-establishing Virginia as the nation’s leader in so many areas, but we have a lot of work left to do.  If we continue emphasizing economic development and job creation and addressing critical issues in education and transportation we will continue to do well.  It’s just great to see our efforts and accomplishments recognized in such a positive way on the national level.”

The full report is available here: http://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/reports/Enterprising-States-2012-web.pdf

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