Md., Pa. in middle of pack for business environment

As part of its 2017 Best States rankings, U.S. News and World Report looked at the business environment in each of the 50 states.

To measure business environment, the publication measured what it called the “private sector business birth rate” and the number of patents granted per million people.

“Inventors, entrepreneurs and out-of-the-box thinkers thrive in environments where they can push the status quo, and often flock to the same areas of the U.S., where they can pursue their business aspirations surrounded by fellow innovators. Those new ideas and businesses can be a boon to a state’s economy,” the publication reported.

Entrepreneurship measured the rate at which new businesses were formed between 2013 and 2015. With an average of 3.75 percent, Florida had the best business birth rate at 3.75 percent. By December 2015, the most recent quarter evaluated, the national business birth rate hit a high of 3.1 percent compared with 2.8 percent in March 2013.

Patent creation measured the number of utility patents — patents for invention — the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted annually. States were ranked on the average number of patents granted between 2013 and 2015 per million residents. Based on the three-year average by population, Mississippians were granted the fewest patents, at about 50 patents per million people, while Californians received the most, at about 997 patents per million residents.

In 2013, about 423 patents were granted nationally per million people, and by 2015 the figure had climbed to about 439 patents per million.

In overall business environment terms, Virginia and Maryland ranked among the top 50 percent of the states, with Pennsylvania at No 40 and West Virginia falling to the bottom.

California finished first.