* Due to an input error the State Competitiveness Report 2005 rankings were revised in January 2006. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused. The press release below reflects the revisions. The metro rankings were released in May 2006.

Frank Conte, Communications
617-573-8050; 8750

BHI releases Metro Area and State Competitiveness Report 2005

For the second year in a row, The Beacon Hill Institute has found that Massachusetts outranks all other states in terms of its economic competitiveness. For the first time, the Boston metropolitan area ranks number one. Despite population loss and slow job growth for the region and the state at large, the state’s economic fundamentals are strong, making it the state most able to sustain a high standard of living for its residents and best equipped to enjoy economic growth.

BOSTON - Massachusetts and the Boston metropolitan region rank number one for economic competitiveness. According to a new study, entitled Metro Area and State Competitiveness Report 2005, and just released by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts leads the nation for its strength across a broad variety of economic indicators while the Boston region leads the metro ranking.

Massachusetts found itself in the top position for the second straight year. Boston finished first after last year's fourth place finish.

In the state ranking, Utah finished second while New Hampshire ranked third, improving from its 7th place ranking in 2004. Louisiana finished last. The Los Angeles metropolitan area finished last due to its poor performance in several broad measures. The Institute defines competitiveness as "the policies and conditions that ensure and sustain a higher level of per capita income and its continued growth."

The 2005 Report assigns more than three dozen variables to eight categories - government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness, and environmental policy - and combined these eight measures into a single "competitiveness index".

"This year's report should go a long way toward dispelling recent, gloomy assessments of the state's economy," said David G. Tuerck, BHI Executive Director. "Looking at just one or two economic indicators can, as we see, prove misleading. Despite slow job growth and population loss, Massachusetts continues to be an attractive place to live and work. In fact, chambers of commerce and planners across the nation should look to Massachusetts as a role model for economic competitiveness."

Massachusetts and Boston rise to the top based on its competitive advantages in technology, business incubation, human resources and openness. These strengths more than offset areas in which the state is weak: infrastructure and environmental policy.Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington are high-tech states that continue to challenge Massachusetts' competitiveness.

Third-place New Hampshire benefits from its ability to attract and cultivate human resources (highly-educated workers), security (low-crime) as well as its ability to export its products and services. New Hampshire also improved its performance for the government and fiscal policy measure.

Folowing Boston in this year's ranking are the metro areas of Raleigh, Seattle, Denver, Austin, Minneapolis, Portland, Washington D.C. Salt Lake City and Charlotte. With the exception of Tennessee and Washington D.C. most of the metro areas are in states that also did well in BHI's state competitive rankings.

The report shows that so-called "red" and "blue" states are equally likely to be competitive (or uncompetitive).

This is the fifth year that BHI has published a Competitiveness Report. All competitiveness reports will be available at www.beaconhill.org. The 2005 report is here.

Last updated on 09/21/2006 4:31 PM
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