(The Center Square) – Compared with other states, Iowa is the eighth best in education but eighth worst for entrepreneur opportunity, according to a report analytics firm TOP Data released this week to The Center Square.
The state-by-state report “Best & Worst States to Live In” analyzed data across eight dimensions: affordability; crime and safety; economy; education; health care; infrastructure; quality of life; and opportunity.
Opportunity received the highest weight (20 points). Corporate tax in 2021, start-up job creation rate in 2020, and projected business creation (business formations within eight quarters per 100,000 people in 2021) received double weight within the dimension. Other measures were employment-population ratio in 2020, gender wage gap for full-time workers in 2019, homeownership rate in 2021, number of small businesses per 100,000 people in 2021, diversity rate (number of non-White small business owners) in 2020 and race wage gap (average wage disparities by race) in 2020.
Iowa had the 40th highest projected business creation in 2022-2023, the 36th highest existing small businesses per capita, the 48th highest jobs created from startups per capita, the 47th highest percent of diverse small business owners and the 43rd highest business tax friendliness.
Education measures (15 points overall weight) gave the highest weight to the students’ success metric, which is based on Scholaroo’s Success Rankings of how successful students are in the educational environment. Scholaroo’s Safety Rankings and School Quality rankings received regular weight in the dimension. Per capita quantity of colleges and other schools comprised the other metrics in the ranking.
Iowa ranked ninth in school quality and 31st in educational attainment in Scholaroo’s 2022 Most and Least Educated States report released in February. It was seventh in student success in the Scholaroo’s January report on states with the best and worst school systems.
Iowa scored toward average (17th) overall while its neighbor South Dakota placed third overall. South Dakota won second place for affordability, economy and opportunities. It projects to have the most newly created businesses in the next two years (9,400 per 100,000), which is 1.4 times more than North Dakota, the second-place winner in the category, a TOP Data spokesperson told The Center Square in an emailed statement Wednesday.