SOURCE: Milken Institute

Milken Institute

October 24, 2016 09:30 ET

Massachusetts Keeps Top Rank in Milken Institute Survey of Top Tech States

Moving up: Colorado, Washington, Minnesota

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - October 24, 2016) - Massachusetts is first -- once again -- in the Milken Institute's State Technology and Science Index 2016, released today. The index tracks and evaluates every state's tech and science capabilities and their success at converting these assets into companies and high-paying jobs. Conducted every two years, the Index has scored Massachusetts first in every edition since it was launched in 2002.

With a score of 83.7, more than 3 points ahead of its nearest competitor, the Bay State proved again that its extensive university and private-sector research assets are fertile breeding grounds for innovation. The showing underscores recent anecdotal evidence, such as GE's decision to move its headquarters to Boston, that this tech hub is also an innovation magnet.

Calculating and evaluating 107 individual indicators, the State Tech and Science Index provides a benchmark for states to assess their science and technology capabilities as well as the broader ecosystem that contributes to job and wealth creation.

The top 10 (with their 2014 index rankings):

  1. Massachusetts (1)
  2. Colorado (4)
  3. Maryland (2)
  4. California (3)
  5. Washington (6)
  6. Connecticut (9)
  7. Minnesota (12)
  8. Utah (5)
  9. Virginia (7)
  10. Delaware (10)

"Innovative activities are determining an increasing proportion of the long-term economic growth differential between states," said Ross DeVol, Chief Research Officer and a co-author of the report. "Sustaining these activities at an elevated rate requires a robust research capacity or ability to create new knowledge that has potential commercial applicability."

Movers and shakers:

  • Colorado climbed to second place from fourth, with an impressive jump from sixth to first in Human Capital Investment. With 14 public and 17 private universities, Colorado is training a high-skill workforce attractive to tech companies.
  • Although California dipped one notch from 2014, the Golden State still has an unrivalled ecosystem for research commercialization.
  • Washington rose one place to fifth in the latest rankings. While cutbacks in the aerospace and defense sectors loom, expanding employment in e-commerce and cloud computing support the state's impressive concentration of payroll and employment in high-tech industries, the highest of any state.
  • Minnesota entered the top 10 for the first time in more than a decade, soaring five notches to seventh place. The jump is evidence of how the state is fast becoming a Midwestern leader in the tech world.
  • With a drop of nine ranks, New York went from No. 11 to No. 20. Drops in three of the major composites brought the Empire State down, including a 12-level plunge in Technology Concentration and Dynamism.

"This edition marks the first State Tech and Science Index to evaluate which states were able to meaningfully create a high-tech sector during the recovery from the Great Recession," said Minoli Ratnatunga, Associate Director for Regional Research and a co-author of the report. "The high-tech sector has clearly expanded its geographic footprint beyond its traditional hubs."

The State Technology and Science Index is composed of five equally weighted composites that establish common ground for comparison and analysis, with 107 indicators. The composites are: Human Capital Investment, Technology and Science Workforce, Research and Development Inputs, Technology Concentration and Dynamism, and Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure. It is one of the most comprehensive examinations of state technology and science assets ever compiled. A statistical analysis demonstrates that State Tech and Science scores explain 75 percent of the variation in real high-tech GDP per capita of the working-age population across states.

Complete rankings and the full report, "State Tech and Science Index: Sustaining America's Innovation Economy," by Ross DeVol, Joe Lee, and Minoli Ratnatunga, is available for download at This site includes a number of features that allow visitors to tailor data according to their particular interests. It also contains an interactive map and slideshows of the top-performing states.

About the Milken Institute
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. It does this through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings and meaningful policy initiatives.

Contact Information