The Most and Least Innovative States in 2018

Business, Technology
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With the U.S. projected to spend $553 billion on research and development in 2018 and multiple cities vying to become the location of Amazon’s HQ2, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Most & Least Innovative States.

In order to give credit to the states that have contributed the most to America’s innovative success, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 22 key metrics. The data set ranges from share of STEM professionals to R&D spending per capita.

Most Innovative States Least Innovative States
1 Massachusetts 42 Oklahoma
2 Maryland 43 Nebraska
3 Washington 44 Hawaii
4 District of Columbia 45 Kentucky
5 California 46 Iowa
6 Colorado 47 Tennessee
7 Virginia 48 Arkansas
8 Utah 49 West Virginia
9 Delaware 50 Louisiana
10 Oregon 51 Mississippi

Key Stats

  • The District of Columbia has the highest share of STEM professionals, 9.5 percent, three times higher than in Mississippi, which has the lowest at 3.2 percent.
  • Virginia has the highest share of technology companies, 7.52 percent, 3.9 times higher than in West Virginia, which has the lowest at 1.95 percent.
  • New Mexico has the highest research and development (R&D) intensity, 6.52 percent, 16.3 times higher than in Nevada, which has the lowest at 0.40 percent.
  • Florida has the highest share of public high-school students taking advanced-placement (AP) exams, 51.9 percent, 3.9 times higher than in North Dakota, which has the lowest at 13.2 percent.

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