BY FREDA MIKLIN
Last summer, Wallet Hub, which conducts lots of studies that are viewed as generally credible, looked at 28 key indicators of startup success to determine which states are the best places for starting a new business. They looked at aspects of the business environment, including growth in the number of small businesses, five-year business survival rate, job growth and GDP growth. They also looked at financing accessibility, human-capital availability, working-age population growth and the share of college-educated individuals in each state’s population. Lastly, they looked at business costs, including labor and taxes. Colorado ranked fifth in the highest average growth in the number of small businesses, second in the category of the most educated population (behind Massachusetts, which seems to have a college on every corner), and seventh overall, a highly respectable showing. Topping the list of states to start a business was Texas, followed by Georgia and, a bit surprising, California. New Jersey was deemed to be the poorest choice for locating a new business.
In January, Wallet Hub set out to find out which were the best and worst states in which to drive. They gathered data and analyzed the cost of ownership and maintenance of personal vehicles, the attributes of traffic and quality of infrastructure, and how safe roads were in each state. The cost of ownership included gas and insurance. Traffic and infrastructure included rush-hour traffic congestion and the increase in vehicle travel on highways during the past two decades. When evaluating safety, Wallet Hub looked at changes in the traffic fatality rate in recent years, whether drivers wore seat belts, the car theft rate and strictness of DUI punishment. They also took into account the number of car dealerships, car washes, and gas stations to evaluate the level of access to vehicles and maintenance.
When the data came in, Colorado was determined to have the highest car theft rate in the entire United States. It ranked 40th in the area of cost of ownership and maintenance, 38th in the category of traffic and infrastructure, and 33rd in overall safety, compared to every other state in the U.S. Overall, our state received the unwelcome ranking of 44th best, or, 7th worst state in which to drive a car. The best state to drive in was found to be Iowa, followed by Oklahoma and Kansas. Hawaii was the worst.