Why North Carolina

Welcome to North Carolina. It’s more than a state—it’s a state of minds.

North Carolina has always attracted a wide range of people with an even wider range of talents. In fact, our state is home to some of the best and brightest minds in the country—minds that are directly shaping the future by solving some of the world’s toughest problems. This highly educated group of individuals are known as North Carolinians. And we’re more than ready to figure out innovative solutions to address your business’s greatest challenges.

Business climate

Better for business by design

We’re committed to making it easy for companies to do business in North Carolina. That’s why our state fosters a pro-business environment, fueled by the lowest corporate income tax in the U.S. along with a favorable legal and regulatory climate, low business costs and qualified talent. As a result, North Carolina garners some impressive accolades—year after year, from a number of sources.


  • #1 Top State for Business, CNBC, 2022
  • #1 State of the Year, Business Facilities, 2022
  • #1 Best Business Climate, Site Selection, 2021
  • #5 Best State for Business, Chief Executive Magazine, 2022


  • 2.5% Corporate Income Tax Rate, Lowest in the U.S., Tax Foundation, 2022
  • #1 Lowest State and Local Business Tax Burden, Ernst & Young, 2021
  • #1 Lowest Effective Tax Rate for New Firm Corpotate HQs, Tax Foundation and KPMG, 2021
  • #3 Lowest Effective Tax Rate for Mature Corporate HQs, Tax Foundation and KPMG, 2021

Business costs

  • #2 Lowest Business Costs, Forbes, 2016
  • #5 Competitive Utility Rates, Area Development’s Top States for Doing Business, 2015
  • 15% Lower Construction Costs in NC Metros vs. U.S. Average, RSMeans Construction Cost Index, 2016

Legal & regulatory

  • #7 Legal Climate Ranking, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2015
  • #5 Overall Treatment of Tort and Contract Litigation, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2015
  • #7 Best Regulatory Environment, Forbes, 2016

Person welding on a factory floor

Workforce & Education

In addition to the large number of people flocking to the state who continue to deepen our pool of high-quality talent, our world-renowned education system graduates thousands of students into the state’s workforce each year. Various training programs from an array of organizations prepare even more workers for skilled positions to fit specific companies’ needs.


  • North Carolina boasts 53 colleges and universities, including 17 public universities
  • Home to top-tier research universities like Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina A&T
  • Esteemed private colleges, including Wake Forest University and Davidson College, are also located here

Community colleges

  • 800,000+ students enroll at one of the state’s 58 community college campuses each year
  • Offer some of the most comprehensive and advanced vocational and technical programs in the country
  • Every NC resident lives within a 30-minute drive of a community college campus

NCWorks Customized Training program

  • Provide training and recruiting for North Carolina businesses
  • Offer a large number of established training programs 
  • Can customize training programs, tailored to address specific needs

Military workforce

  • North Carolina has the fourth-largest active-duty military population in the U.S.
  • More than 82 percent of those exiting the military in the next three years will be 30 or younger
  • These individuals have experience in engineering, IT, healthcare, communications, research and other in-demand fields

Quality of Life

A great place to call home

North Carolina offers an unparalleled quality of life. From our beautiful beaches and majestic mountains to the idyllic areas in between, it’s no wonder people from all over flock to the state. Add to that our central East-Coast location, moderate climate and relatively low cost of living and it’s easy to see why North Carolina is the 9th most-populated state in the U.S.—and growing.

Plenty to explore

  • North Carolina’s numerous beaches stretch over 300 miles of coastline
  • Home to the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Sports abound from legendary golf courses and college basketball rivalries to NASCAR and our professional sports teams—the Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes
  • Hundreds of award-winning restaurants and dozens of nationally recognized chefs serve up dishes fit for foodies
  • 100+ wineries and the largest—and ever-growing—craft brewery scene in the South 
  • Award-winning symphonies, museums, summer theaters, festivals and venues can be found throughout the state

Low cost of living

  • North Carolina enjoys a cost of living that’s lower than the national average, coupled with a high personal satisfaction level
  • Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem and Wilmington all received some of the most favorable scores on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s acclaimed cost of living index
  • Housing, utilities, groceries and transportation all cost below the national average

Top-notch health care

  • North Carolina is home to some of the top medical facilities in the U.S.—and health care here costs below the national average
  • Four leading medical schools in the state, including:
    • Duke University School of Medicine
    • Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
    • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
    • Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • More than 100 community hospitals, in addition to the state’s largest hospitals: Carolinas Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center
  • Three local hospitals rank among the best for cancer care

Extensive education system

  • North Carolina has the highest number of National Board-Certified teachers in the nation
  • The state has 16 public universities, 36 private colleges and universities and a 58-campus community college system that’s the third largest in the U.S.
  • Nationally ranked among the top four states for pre-kindergarten quality standards by the National Institute for Early Education Research


Get from here to anywhere

If you’re looking for easy access to both domestic and global markets, look no further than North Carolina. Our extensive highway system, four international airports and two seaports make it obvious why North Carolina is consistently ranked as one of the top U.S. states for doing business.

By air

  • Charlotte touts the fifth-busiest airline hub in the U.S.
  • Virtually any major global city is just one plane-change away from NC
  • Four international airports:
    • Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
    • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
    • Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
    • Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
  • Plus 11 regional and 100+ general aviation facilities

By sea

  • Two deep-water seaports along Atlantic shipping lines:
    • Port of Morehead City
      • Container and general cargo
      • 42-foot channel and berth depth
      • Direct access to I-40, I-74, I-95, US 17 and US 74
      • Served by CSX
    • Port of Wilmington
      • General cargo and bulk handling facility
      • 45-foot channel, 38- to 42-foot depth
      • Access to I-95 and I-40 via US 70 and US 17
      • Served by Norfolk Southern
  • Two inland terminals (in Charlotte and Greensboro) are at the center of the Southeast’s manufacturing and distribution sites

By road

  • 90,000+ miles of road make up the second-largest state-owned highway system in the U.S.
  • Easy access to some of the most critical transportation corridors in the nation
  • Major controlled-access arteries include:
    • I-95: north-to-south from New England to Florida
    • I-85: runs through the manufacturing heart of the Southeast
    • I-40: coast-to-coast from NC to California

By rail

  • Largest consolidated rail system in the U.S. made up of 3,200+ miles of track
  • Rail connections all the way to the coast, enabling import/export services to a large market
  • Service to 22 states via more than 20 carriers including CSX, Norfolk Southern, affiliated railroads and independently owned carriers

Airliners on an airport tarmac