Cracking — or should we say fracking — in CNBC's Top 5 States for Business rankings for the first time in 2012 is North Dakota, where an oil and gas boom fueled by the state’s Bakken Shale formation shows few signs of easing. Improving to fifth overall from 13th place last year, North Dakota boasts the fastest growing economy in the country. Unemployment is practically non-existent. But there are indications North Dakota’s success is more than just a flash in the oil pan.
The state moves up in Quality of Life (5) as well as Business Friendliness (4), which measures the states’ legal and regulatory climates.
But all is not Zen in the Peace Garden State. North Dakota still lags when it comes to Technology & Innovation (47) and Access to Capital (43).