CNBC's 'America's Top States' rankings place Iowa high in business, place to live

Opinion: When Iowa tops a ranking for "best" or "top" place for anything, I tend to give it the side-eye first.

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Editor's note: I usually pause to read "best of" lists — especially when it comes to Iowa. I always want to see if the list reflects my life, the lives of my family and friends and the lives of Black Iowans.

This study looks at the state of business and life in Iowa, which according to the measures studied, is among the best in the U.S. However, when it comes to Black Iowans, life and business might be great for several individuals or in small pockets, but we know statistically, it's not great for many Black Iowans. Thankfully, there are many individuals and groups working across the state to better the lives of Black Iowans — and Black Iowa News salutes them all.

What do you think about how CNBC ranked Iowa? Read more. Email

CNBC's recent annual rankings listed Iowa No. 10 on a list of America's best places to live and No. 12 on America's Top States for Business.

Iowa received a B grade in the category of life, health and inclusion, which evaluated crime rates, environmental quality, health care, among other metrics.

That’s right. A "B" grade for life, health and inclusion. Though, the study did acknowledge Iowa was "weak" on the inclusiveness part, which looked at state laws and protections against discrimination and voting rights.

“Our Top States study considers life, health and inclusion, as the nation struggles to move past the pandemic, and states and companies grapple with culture wars,” according to CNBC.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing across the nation and in Iowa — even if few Iowans wear masks or acknowledge it. And the culture wars here are in full effect. I wish these studies asked Black, Indigenous people of color, people with physical disabilities, people with mental disabilities and ordinary Iowans about what they think about living in Iowa where disparities thrive. Here are some of Iowa's problems and areas of opportunity:

Yes. Peruse that list, then tell me more about how idyllic Iowa is.

CNBC Iowa Score and Ranking:

Workforce: Rank: 20 Grade: C+

Infrastructure Rank: 37 Grade: D

Cost of Doing Business Score: Rank: 19 Grade B+

Economy: Rank: 17 Grade: C+

Life, Health and Inclusion: Rank: 10 Grade: B

Technology & Innovation: Rank: 18 Grade: B-

Business Friendliness Rank: 28 Grade D+

Education: Rank: 24 Grade: C+

Access to Capital: Rank 29 Grade C-

Cost of Living: Rank: 7 Grade B+

The study used publicly available data, data from each state’s economic development agency and from other sources.

Top Banner: Getty Images.

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