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FILE - In this Jan. 7 2015 file photo, smoke emits from a factory chimneys near O'Hare airport in Chicago. The Federal Reserve releases industrial production figures for December on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Minnesota is the best state for business, according to a new rating released today by the financial news channel CNBC. 

The North Star state, which ranked No. 6 in a similar survey a year ago, charted a different course to the top than most of the previous winners. Minnesota's superior education and quality of life offset its higher taxes and wages to emerge as the best state.

"Minnesota shows that there are multiple paths states can follow to be competitive," CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn said. "The state took a gamble by raising taxes in 2013, and at least so far it has paid off in improved state finances, and the fact that businesses were willing to stay put in order to take advantage of the state's excellent workforce, top-notch education system, and superb quality of life."

Georgia, which CNBC ranked No. 1 for business competitiveness in 2014, fell to No. 6. Tennessee, which ranked No. 14 in 2014, declined to No. 17. Alabama ranked 41st.

Georgia and Tennessee boast some of the best infrastructure, workforce and overall business friendliness. But the southern states ranked lower in education and quality of life.

In fact, Tennessee ranked dead last for its quality of life, which measures crime rates, health care coverage and anti-discrimination protections.

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