Massachusetts stole a second straight victory in Bloomberg’s ranking of the most innovative U.S. states, a testament to how much the economy’s wheels are greased by investment in higher education and research.
California again scored just behind Massachusetts, which gained ground by churning out more science and engineering graduates and producing jobs in those industries even though it had less technology company density than in 2015, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index 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.
Ranking leader Massachusetts has enjoyed a faster recovery from the last recession than most states and now boasts a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, leaving it tied for second-best in the country. That compares with a 4.6 percent national average.