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Virginia, Texas still best states for business

Iowa was one of many Midwestern states to make the top 20 of CNBC's 2011 best states for business list.

Iowa was one of many Midwestern states to make the top 20 of CNBC's 2011 best states for business list.

Moving into the top spot from number two last year, Virginia has been named America's top state for business in CNBC's annual rankings.

Virginia and Texas have swapped the top two positions on CNBC's list since it was first published five years ago, and this year the pattern continued. North Carolina, Georgia and Colorado rounded out the top five.

The rankings are based on states' scores in 10 categories, such as cost of doing business, access to capital and cost of living. Virginia scored very high in business friendliness, education and economy, while Texas excelled in transportation/infrastructure and technology/innovation.

Iowa, which came in at number nine overall, was ranked first in the nation for cost of doing business. North Dakota, tied for 13th with South Dakota, was judged to have the number one economy in the nation. Other Midwest states were prominent on the list: Minnesota (7), Nebraska (10), Kansas (11), Indiana (15), Missouri (16). A recent USA Today article singled out the Midwest as having healthy housing markets, as well.

Virginia might have nabbed the top spot from Texas in the CNBC rankings, but Texas might see more people moving to the state. ProximityOne recently predicted Austin will see the second-highest population growth of any U.S. metro area in the next decade.