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This year’s Doing Business North America 2021 study covers 134 cities across 92 states, provinces, and federal districts of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The largest city from each state or province is included, and in the case of especially large US states, up to four cities in the states have been included. The report also includes the federal district of Washington, DC. Specifically, the report this year includes 84 US cities, 38 Mexican cities, and 12 Canadian cities. The DBNA report will be an annual study and more cities and more regulatory measures will be added in future years as well.

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Doing Business North America 2021 Report cover

Doing Business North America
2021 Report

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Over the years, researchers have begun to understand how robust measurement and ranking of regulations that either enhance business activity or constrain it can provide substantial insight into economic outcomes. Objective measurements of those regulations have been vital in this understanding.

Every year since 2001, the World Bank has measured and categorized more than 100 different aspects of the laws pertaining to opening, operating, and liquidating a business in the primary business cities of every country in the world. The report, titled Doing Business, scores and ranks cities over a long timeframe and has been an invaluable tool for policymakers and scholars to analyze the beneficial economic improvements that can follow the well-designed liberalization of business regulations and policies. It also gives the ranked cities on this list a gauge of how well they rank and how far they may have to go to improve the ease of doing business, as well as a history of how far they have already come.

While the DBNA is inspired by other similar reports that score and rank locations on the burden of business regulations, this study seeks to drill down further than most of them do. Many studies to date look only at state-level policies. Very few focus on the city level. The DBNA study seeks to provide the same service to scholars and policy-makers as the World Bank study and other similar studies.

View previous years

2020 report

2019 report