Connecticut ranks 35th in CNBC's latest America's Top States for Business study, up two spots from last year.

CNBC ranked Connecticut in the top 20 in half of the 10 categories it uses to measure a state's economic competitiveness.

CNBC Top States for Business 2019, Connecticut

The state scored best in the education category, ranked eighth—with an A- grade—based on its public school system, higher education institutions, and learning opportunities.

The cable network ranked Connecticut 15th for its workforce, 18th for technology and innovation, and 20th for access to capital and quality of life.

Connecticut also moved up five positions from last year to number 21 for business friendliness—the study's measure of a state's legal and regulatory climate.

Fiscal Stability

However, Connecticut continued to feature in the bottom 10 states in four key categories—ranked 43rd for infrastructure (up four spots), economy (2018: 45th), cost of doing business (46th), and the cost of living (43rd).

"This state lavishes attention on its great schools, but it can be difficult to endure the high costs," the study's authors wrote.

CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan noted the state's improvement across a number of categories in the CNBC study.

"Addressing Connecticut's short and long-term fiscal challenges is the key to building a stronger, vibrant economy."

CBIA's Joe Brennan

"Connecticut's competitiveness can make a major jump in a relatively short period if we focus on getting our fiscal house in order," Brennan said.

"You can't have economic growth without job growth, and you can't create jobs without attracting business investment.

"Addressing Connecticut's short and long-term fiscal challenges is the key to attracting and retaining businesses and building a stronger, vibrant economy."

New England States

At 14th overall, Massachusetts was the best of the New England states, ranked first for education and in the top 10 for workforce, technology and innovation, access to capital, and quality of life.

Massachusetts fell from eighth in last year's study, driven by declines in infrastructure and the cost of doing business.

CNBC Top States for Business 2019

New Hampshire fell one spot to 25th, Vermont dropped eight places to 40th, Maine tied for 45th, and Rhode Island fell five spots to last place.

CNBC ranked Virginia first this year, up from fourth in 2018, rated first for workforce and education, with top 20 finishes for infrastructure, access to capital, technology and innovation, economy, and quality of life.

Top, Bottom States

CNBC's 2019 top five states for business:

  1. Virginia (2018: 4th)
  2. Texas (1st)
  3. North Carolina (9th)
  4. Utah (3rd)
  5. Colorado (5th)

And the bottom five:

46. Louisiana (44th)

47. Alaska (50th)

48. Mississippi (49th)

49. Hawaii (47th)

50. Rhode Island (45th)