North Dakota ranks as the third best state in the country for doing business.

The Bakken shale formation is playing a big role in making North Dakota one of the best states in the country to do business. 

The state jumped up two spots to Number 3 in the current survey of America’s Top States for Business. The survey, conducted annually by CNBC, scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. 

One of the primary reasons for North Dakota’s ascension – it occupies the Number 2 spot in the survey’s Economy and Infrastructure and Transportation categories – is shale oil. The state set oil production records in April and again in May, producing more than 810,000 barrels per day. Oil and gas also fueled a 13.4 percent growth in the state’s real GDP, the highest of any state last year. 

Related: Blog: New Assessment Shows Greater Potential for Bakken, Three Forks

North Dakota boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at just 3.2 percent, due in large part to the oil boom, but agriculture is still the state’s largest industry. A low corporate tax rate of 4.53 percent and a sale tax rate of 5 percent also helped the state’s overall ranking, and improvements in Infrastructure and Transportation provided a substantial boost. 

South Dakota claimed the top overall spot in the survey, followed by Texas and North Dakota. Nebraska and Utah rounded out the top five. 

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