According to an annual CNBC.com study, Virginia squeaked past Texas to win the top state for business. The study measured the states on the criteria states use to sell themselves, weighting those criteria based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. And, this year the states’ sales pitches have changed with changes in the economy. States are now emphasizing Quality of Life, while leaving out economically sensitive areas like Education, Cost of Living, and the Economy itself.

It has been a year of drastic change—in government, the economy and the competitive landscape. When we unveiled our 2008 study last July, the price of oil had just hit a record $147 a barrel, and the depths of the economic meltdown were still a couple months away.

Today, oil costs less than half of what it did, and the nation is mired in the worst recession in 60 years. A new administration in Washington is sending massive amounts of stimulus dollars to the states, while state governments struggle with massive budget shortfalls. And all of this change has led to big changes in our rankings this year.

Virginia reclaimed the title from Texas, which won last year. Texas is still considered a powerhouse but Virginia managed to regain the title it won back in 2007.

Source and full article: CNBC’s Top States For Business 2009