In Forbes' latest list of the most business-friendly states, Minnesota comes in at No. 9 with the magazine giving the state high marks for "quality of life" and a strong overall economic climate.
Most notably among Midwest states, North Dakota was ranked second as the Bakken oil boom continues to push its economy forward. Forbes also praised the state's "thriving technology and service sectors."
Forbes said the list is based on 36 factors, among them: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Business costs, which include labor, energy and taxes, are weighted the most heavily. The magazine turned to 11 sources, leaning most heavily on Moody's Analytics.
The magazine pointed to Minnesota benefiting from being the home of Target, U.S. Bancorp, General Mills, 3M and Medtronic. It also liked the state for having the fourth-highest percentage of adults with a high school degree at 92.4 percent.
"With its good schools, low poverty rate and healthy populace, the state ranks second overall on Forbes' quality of life measurements," the magazine said in its online report.
South Dakota, which for years has been airing radio ads in Minnesota touting its business-friendliness, was ranked No. 14. While Forbes gave a nod to that state for its low business costs, the magazine was unimpressed by South Dakota's growth prospects (45th among the 50 states) and quality of life (30th).
Wisconsin can be found further down the rankings at No. 32, but Forbes did praise the state for its "Open for Business" campaign that started in 2011 and has boosted the overall employment climate.
At the top of the rankings is Utah. Bringing up the rear is Mississippi.