By Adam McCann | WalletHub
Innovation is a principal driver of U.S. economic growth. In 2021, the U.S. will spend nearly $600 billion on research and development — more than any other country in the world and more than 25% of the world’s total — helping the nation rank third on the Global Innovation Index. According to the results of the ranking, knowledge and technology outputs are America’s particular strengths. Some of the biggest innovations the U.S. has produced recently are the COVID-19 vaccines, and the government spent $12 billion in 2020 on their development and distribution through Operation Warp Speed.
But certain states deserve more credit than others for America’s dominance in the tech era. These states continue to grow innovation through investments in education, research and business creation, especially in highly specialized industries.
In order to recognize the nation’s biggest contributors, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 22 key indicators of innovation-friendliness. Our data set ranges from share of STEM professionals to R&D spending per capita to tech-company density. Read on for our findings, commentary from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.