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Development Report Card for the States

Development Report Card for the States

For 20 years, CFED published the Development Report Card for the States (DRC) with the philosophy that people drive economies – they are both the catalyst for innovation as well as the reason we seek economic growth. States should promote profitable commerce by putting their people first. The report card asserted that states should move beyond traditional economic development activities that seek to attract footloose facilities with tax breaks. Rather, states should invest in their real economic strengths: skilled workforces, entrepreneurs, high standards of living, technology development, existing businesses, world class infrastructure and excellent public services. Coupled with stable, adequate – but not excessive – taxes and predictable regulations, these are the components of dynamic, globally competitive economies.

Between 1987 and 2007, CFED produced the DRCto provide policymakers and businesses a comparative assessment of each state’s business climate. Through this annual report, CFED helped to redefine the elements of a “good business climate.” By compiling publicly available data in 67 measures, the DRC graded states on the health of their economy on three key dimensions:

  • Performance graded the climate for a wage-earner. This assessment included employment, income and benefits, and quality of life measures.
  • Business Vitality graded the climate for business, including establishment of new business, industrial diversity and business closings.
  • Development Capacity graded the way current resources were used with an eye to the future. This assessment looked at education systems, physical infrastructure, and financial, natural and technological resources.

CFED retired the DRC in 2007, but the publications and data are still available for download. CFED continues to grade and assess states in its Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, which focuses on family and household wealth, poverty and financial security, but does contain measures from the DRC.

Download PDF files (coming soon!) of all DRCs and data in Excel (where available)

2007 DRC; 2007 DRC data

2006 DRC; 2006 DRC data

2004 DRC; 2004 DRC data

2003 DRC; 2003 DRC data

2002 DRC; 2002 DRC data

2001 DRC; 2001 DRC data

2000 DRC; 2000 DRC data

1999 DRC; 1999 DRC data

1998 DRC

1997 DRC (173MB)

1996 DRC

1995 DRC

1994 DRC

1993 DRC

1992 DRC

1991 DRC

1990 DRC

1989 DRC

1988 DRC

1987 DRC

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