South Carolina was ranked as the 4th best state in the nation for business, according to an annual survey of chief executives by Chief Executive magazine.

The Palmetto State advanced three places from last year in the magazine’s 13th annual Best & Worst States for Business survey, and moved back into the top five for the first time since 2014, according to a press release.

The ranking is South Carolina’s highest since the survey’s inception in 2004, the release said, although the state has consistently ranked in the top 10 in recent years. The rankings reflect CEO perceptions of best and worst states based on a range of key measures from quality of life to taxes to workforce.

Texas, Florida and North Carolina ranked ahead of South Carolina. Full results and additional information can be found at and in the May/June issue of Chief Executive.

According to the report, South Carolina exporters in 2016 posted a seventh consecutive record year with export sales of $31.2 billion – a $400 million increase over last year, according to The SC Department of Commerce. In total, the state recruited more than $3.4 billion in capital investment, creating approximately 13,100 new jobs.

In addition to the overall state rankings, Chief Executive’s 2017 Best & Worst States for Business survey also presents individual category rankings, including workforce, taxes/regulation, living environment, and best communication of business incentives. Additionally, states were ranked by major industry, including health care, technology, financial services and retail, among others.

South Carolina’s rankings in key categories included No. 6 for Living Environment, No. 9 for Taxes and Regulation, and No. 19 for Workforce Quality.

In state rankings by industry, South Carolina fared well, ranked No. 3 for manufacturing, No. 5 in technology, No. 6 in financial services and No. 10 in retail.

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