Florida is No. 1 in the U.S. when it comes to infrastructure improvements that promote global trade, a new survey shows, but the state lags most of the country in overall economic performance.
FreeEnterprise.com, a unit of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, conducted the survey, part of a small business summit held in Washington, D.C., this week.
On the infrastructure category, the report states: “Florida has continued to prioritize investments in port facility upgrades and expansions, looking to open the state to more international trade.” The report also cites the state's Rural Infrastructure Fund and its Economic Development Transportation Fund, both of which prioritize funding that leads to job creation.
The state, however, didn't fare so well in overall economic performance, where it ranked 37th. This category of the survey looked at a variety of economic development factors, with a focus on job growth over two years and 10 years, in addition to income growth. North Dakota ranked first in the overall economic performance category, followed by Texas and Utah.
Still, overall, Florida had a strong showing in the survey. The state ranked in the top 10 in four out of six major categories, including the top spot for infrastructure. Other top 10 finishes were talent pipeline, where it ranked fourth; business climate, where it was ninth; and innovation and entrepreneurship, where it was 10th.
On business climate, the report specifically mentioned the state's move to raise the corporate income tax exemption from $5,000 to $50,000 between 2011 and 2013. On talent pipeline, meanwhile, the state was first in higher education efficiency, fourth in AP test scores, and ninth in college affordability, according to the report. And on innovation and entrepreneurship the survey notes that Florida is No. 1 in the country in business birthrate and third in increase in self-employed workers.
For an interactive map of all the state and rankings, click here.