Massachusetts is the nation’s most innovative state, with California scoring a close second and Washington, New Jersey and Connecticut rounding out the top five states, according to The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index, in findings that highlighted the connections between education, research and innovation. "There are some things that state governments can do to make their states more attractive to research and development," including R&D tax credits, Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts told Governing magazine. "State governments — if they carefully target areas where they think they have a bit of a competitive advantage — they could develop a cluster around their universities, as well."
Bloomberg scored each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across six equally weighted metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity.
Mississippi, West Virginia and South Dakota are the three least innovative states.
Reviewing Connecticut rankings by category, the state ranked 4th in productivity, 8th in R&D intensity, 10th in science & engineering degree holders, 11th in patent activity, 13th in STEM concentration and 22nd in high-tech intensity.
Rounding out the top 10 most innovative states were Oregon, Maryland, Colorado, Delaware and Minnesota. Among the other New England states, New Hampshire ranked 12th, Rhode Island was 14th, Vermont ranked 25th, Maine finished near the bottom at number 43.
The data analyzed by Bloomberg came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation, StatsAmerica.org and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.