Top 10 U.S. States For Tech Innovation

By Michael McGrady 4 Min Read

WalletHub, earlier this year, published a report entitled “2018’s Most & Least Innovative States.” This report ranks all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia on a basis that reflects which states have the best environments for innovation in tech and other industries while also promoting “innovation friendliness.”

The rankings were determined on 22 indicators, according to WalletHub financial writer Adam McCann’s write up on the findings. From determining which states have the highest share of STEM professionals to the fastest average internet speeds in the union, overall ratings were determined on various parameters and datasets.

“Certain states deserve more credit than others for America’s dominance in the tech era,” McCann wrote. “These states continue to grow innovation through investments in education, research, and business creation, especially in highly specialized industries.”

The following states are the top ten places in the United States for innovation:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Maryland
  3. Washington
  4. District of Columbia
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Virginia
  8. Utah
  9. Delaware
  10. Oregon

The ranking methodology

All scores and rankings were determined by “two key dimensions” which include “Human Capital” and “Innovation Environment.” Plus, these rankings spurn results based on information from external rankings.

For example, the WalletHub rankings were built from methods and findings from content published by the Global Innovation Index. The the United States ranks number 4 in the world for being the most innovative country.

Despite the origin information, the study’s methodology was far more invasive than it may seem.

“We evaluated those dimensions using 22 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights,” the study’s methodology reads. “Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for innovation. We then determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its “State Innovation Index” and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.”

These metrics include the following indicators:

  • Share of STEM Professionals
  • Share of Science & Engineering & Related Fields Graduates
  • Projected STEM-Job Demand by 2020
  • Scientific-Knowledge Output
  • Eighth-Grade Math & Science Performance
  • AP Exam Participation
  • Share of Technology Companies
  • R&D Spending per Capita
  • R&D Intensity
  • Invention Patents per Capita
  • IP Services Exports as a Share of All Services Exports
  • Business Churn
  • Jobs in New Companies
  • Net Migration
  • Entrepreneurial Activity
  • Tax-Friendliness
  • Industry-Cluster Strength
  • Open Roads & Skies Friendly Laws
  • Average Internet Speed
  • Share of Households with Broadband Internet Access
  • Venture-Capital Funding per Capita
  • Average Annual Federal Small-Business Funding per GDP

All of these metrics are weighted to a particular point value that is scored out of 100, as mentioned above. For a full read-out of the WalletHub survey’s methodology and full rankings, please read it on the publication’s website. The report also features the various insights of experts on tech startups and economics giving two-cents on innovation in the United States.

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