The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), along with Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, just released their 2023 annual report of Rich States, Poor States

North Carolina ranks 2nd best in the “economic outlook” ranking measured by factoring 15 different state variables. Variables include tax rates and burdens, state debt, minimum wage, and right-to-work status. Recent tax rate cuts bolstered the state ranking, along with our low corporate income taxes, right-to-work status, and lack of estate tax. 

The state ranks 10th best in the “economic performance” ranking, a retrospective measure based on state GDP, domestic migration, and employment. This is an improvement from last year when North Carolina ranked 12th best. The state’s ranking was bolstered by high net domestic migration. 

Stephen Moore, a co-author of the report, highlighted in an interview the benefits of our system of federalism. He said, “We knew from decades of research that states with lower taxes, states that had Right to Work laws, states that allowed more freedom for their workers and businesses had better performance. We wanted to really chronicle that in this report.”

The 16th annual report can be found here. Historical state rankings can be found on their website here