MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota got high marks on Forbes latest rankings of business-friendly states, placing ninth overall.

The magazine cites the state's strong quality of life as a major factor. St. Cloud State University economist King Banaian says high quality of life means residents are more likely to stay in their communities.

Banaian says education and health care are growing areas for jobs in Minnesota. It's also an advantage for Central Minnesota to have colleges like St. Cloud State and the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University in the area.

The state ranks second overall on quality of life with good marks on education, health and for having a low poverty rate.

First overall on the list is Utah, North Dakota took second place thanks to the Bakken formation. The recent oil boom in North Dakota may have also had a positive impact on Minnesota's economy.