Colorado takes the fifth in Forbes list of best states for business and careers

Colorado ranks fifth in the latest version of an annual comparison of business climates in the 50 states.

Colorado ranks among the top states in four out of six criteria used to compile the Forbes magazine list of best states for business and careers. Colorado fares worse, though, in terms of the cost of doing business, the most heavily weighted criteria.

Colorado has remained among the top 10 states in the Forbes listing for the past four years, ranking fourth in 2010 and 2009 and sixth in 2008.

The magazine takes into account a total of 37 data points in six categories to determine the rankings.

Colorado ranks first in a measure of labor supply, eighth in a measure of growth prospects and 10th in measures of economic climate and quality of life. Colorado comes in at 15th in a measure of the regulatory environment. The state fares worst of all at 32nd in a measure of business costs that takes into account labor, energy and taxes.

Utah remains the best state for business and careers in the 2011 listing as the only state to rank among the top 15 in each of the six categories used to determine the overall rankings. Virginia ranks second overall in the 2011 listing, followed by North Carolina and North Dakota. The bottom five states, in descending order, are Mississippi, Michigan, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Maine.