Unsurprisingly, Texas has scored the top spot as 2012 State of the Year in Business Facilities' annual list, thanks to what Jack Rogers, the publication's editor-in-chief, calls "the most dynamic economy of any state in the nation."
"The job-producing engine of the Lone Star State barely sputtered during the Great Recession, bouncing back over pre-Recession levels faster than anywhere else in the U.S.," Rogers writes. "As our friends in Texas like to remind us, if Texas was a separate country its economic vitality would rival most of the world's leading economies and even give the U.S. a run for its money."
Texas' still-thriving oil and gas sector played a part in the economy's continued strength, as did a resurgence in manufacturing, a bump in alternative energy and growth in the tech sector, which ranges from semiconductors to bioscience to Apple (the computer giant announced last year that it would build a $304 million campus in Austin).
"If Texas was a separate country, its economic vitality would rival most of the world's leading economies."
A business-friendly environment, a strong infrastructure, low labor costs, rampant population growth and a higher education system that churns out a highly-qualified workforce also combine to make Texas an economic front-runner.
Runners-up for Business Facilities' State of the Year recognition include Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and Utah.