NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Volunteer State got an "A+" for its economy but a solid "F" for livability in a recent economic study conducted by business news network CNBC.
Despite its bustling economic development, CNBC's study ranked Tennessee among the worst states to actually live in when it comes to crime, air quality, human rights, and access to childcare -- placing it as the ninth-worst state in the U.S.
In particular, the study said the state's livability weaknesses are high crime and discriminatory practices -- particularly with recently passed laws and efforts by lawmakers to codify discrimination against people in the LGBTQ community.
"The Volunteer State has notched some impressive economic development victories lately —like a major Ford electric vehicle facility — gaining lots of new residents in the process. But those workers are moving to a state that is chipping away at inclusiveness. The state has passed a series of laws aimed at the LGBTQ community, including a transgender sports bill this year that the Human Rights Campaign calls “discriminatory, unfair, and unnecessary,” the CNBC report said.
Vermont topped the study as the best state to live in across the U.S. but ranked 31 overall for business.
When it comes to business and economy, Tennessee received high scores across the board -- ranking sixth overall in the top states for business. Among the state's strong points were its economy, which is placed second in the U.S. behind North Carolina, its infrastructure, cost of living, and the cost of doing business in the state.
Neighboring North Carolina ranked number one overall in CNBC's study as the best state for business.
"The Tar Heel State has always been a contender in CNBC’s annual competitiveness rankings, rarely finishing outside the top 10 since the study began in 2007," CNBC said. "What made the difference this year? For one thing, state leaders keep managing to put aside their very deep political divisions to boost business and the economy."