By Scott Thompson 

The long-term forecast for the aerospace and defense industry looks bright, with the industry having reported a notable increase in both revenues and profits for 2016. Air passenger travel is exceeding expectations and there is demand for increases in aircraft, engine and parts manufacturing. As aerospace companies continue to expand, they will be looking to invest in certain regions. 

PwC recently released its fourth annual Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings, a guide to attractive geographic locations for aerospace development. This year, the ranking methodology has been further improved and refined to offer comparisons within the United States and globally as well, providing organizations with data they can leverage to help plan for the future. 

The Top 10 States for Aerospace Manufacturing

Georgia moved up two ranks to claim the number one spot for 2017. It scored highly in both the industry and economy categories, coming in at 4th and 7th, respectively. Currently, it boasts over 500 aerospace companies in the state and also remains close to several space launch facilities. Due to these factors, Georgia should continue to attract investments in commercial aviation and space technology.

Michigan took second place, with strong performance in several categories including economy, infrastructure, and cost, while Arizona came in third, thanks to a business friendly tax policy, strong transportation infrastructure, and a climate conducive to aircraft testing. 

Newcomers to this year’s top 10 include North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, and New York. North Carolina leaped 14 spots from last year to number four, due to its strong scores in economy and industry, as well as boasting the lowest corporate income tax rate in the U.S. Virginia ranked high in labor due to its supply of skilled workers and higher education institutions. New York was helped by its position as a global economic center.

The Top 10 Countries for Aerospace Manufacturing

With the size and maturity of aerospace within the United States, it should come as no surprise that that the U.S. remained first once again in terms of global rankings. A few factors contributed to its place on top: a strong economy, a high priority on defense spending, and an emphasis on education and research, among others. Education will remain key not only to meet current demands, but to help prep the next generation of talent as they enter the workforce. 

Many criteria and factors were considered in the creation of this index, and these rankings are only meant to serve as a guide. But it appears the future of aerospace is bright and can be a driving force in the growth of the manufacturing industry. 

For the full report and a deeper analysis of the rankings and our methodology, please see the 2017 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings.

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