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Is your state book smart or money smart?


 America prides itself on attracting the best and brightest.

The problem is, the best and brightest don't always live in the same state.

CNBC released its 2014 Top States for Business, and we here at Top/Best/Most noticed something very interesting: The states rated highest for education were among the worst states for business. Would you prefer to exist in an educated state or a state of prosperity?

Here are the top states for education in CNBC's survey. Only one ranks in the top half of the country as also being a top state for business.

#5: Connecticut

Connecticut is both smart and rich. Many ZIP codes are among the nation's wealthiest, but it's not a great place to run a business. The CNBC survey ranked Connecticut 47th for the cost of doing business, 48th for cost of living and 49th for its overall economy. Yikes. These are the reasons that, despite all its money, Connecticut ranks 46th overall on CNBC's list of Top States for Business.

#4: New Jersey

A pattern is emerging. Every well-educated state is in the Northeast. New Jersey is in the top 10 percent for smarts, but the bottom 10 percent for economy and infrastructure, putting its overall rank as a business state down at 43rd ... sadder than a Springsteen song.

#3: Massachusetts

Duh. Massachusetts is home to America's most renowned university, Harvard, as well as other esteemed institutions like MIT. But it ranks very low in the cost of doing business and infrastructure. Its overall Top States for Business ranking is 25, the highest of the education fab five.

#2: Vermont

Vermonters are exceptionally well educated, and it's not just because so many of them favor jackets with elbow patches. (I'm making that up, it's just how I imagine them.) Yet there isn't much else sweetening the economic syrup up there. The state ranks dead last in workforce in the CNBC survey, which is why its overall ranking for doing business is down at 42.

#1: New York

New York is king of the hill, top of the heap, when it comes to an educated populace. I mean, come on, the cabbies listen to NPR all day! They know everything! New Yorkers may be smarter than everybody else, but when it comes to being business friendly, the state is kinda dumb. New York ranks 50th—last place!—in the cost of doing business and cost of living. So what is the overall business ranking for the state that's home to Wall Street? 40th ... ouch!

What about the best states for business?

According to CNBC, the top states for business are, in this order, Georgia, Texas, Utah, Nebraska and North Carolina. But in the education category, only Nebraska cracks the top half of the country, in 19th place. As for the others, here are their education rankings:

Georgia: 32
Texas: 27
North Carolina: 33
Utah: 46

The lesson in all this? Looks like you don't have to be a genius to be successful, which is good news for most of us, especially if you live in Utah.

Read more about CNBC's list of America's Top States for Business.

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