State News

How Georgia’s Science and Tech Capabilities Rank

Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

The United States has long been considered among the most innovative countries in the world – and America’s status as a global hub of innovation is partially attributable to public funding of research and development. The federal government spent nearly $138 billion on R&D in 2020 alone.

The private sector is also an engine of innovation, from companies on the Fortune 500 to small startups. Amazon, for example, spent over $62 billion on R&D in fiscal 2022. (Here is a look at the most innovative companies in 2021.)

Several key indicators can reveal how much of the innovation that takes place in the U.S. is concentrated in a certain place. According to personal finance website, WalletHub, which created a weighted index of 22 measures indicative of innovative capacity, Georgia ranks as the 25th most innovative state in the country.

Georgia’s ranking on the innovation index is reflected, in part, by employment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields as a share of total employment. According to May 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs account for 6.0% of all employment in the state, the 23rd highest share among states.

All innovation rankings in this story are from Wallet Hub’s report Most & Least Innovative States. A full description of each measure and its weighting is available here.

Innovation RankStateEmployment in STEM fields, 2021 (%)Patents per 100k people, 2020Venture capital invested, 2021 ($M)
1Massachusetts9.1125.835,499.0
2Washington10.2117.78,604.3
3Maryland10.140.32,237.4
4Colorado9.264.36,761.7
5Virginia9.334.72,570.8
6California7.9128.7157,533.6
7Delaware7.235.71,866.1
8New Hampshire7.379.4102.4
9Utah7.661.04,154.8
10Oregon7.596.41,580.3
11New Mexico6.924.1169.3
12New Jersey7.254.25,589.0
13Michigan7.274.41,386.7
14Connecticut7.096.51,709.0
15Texas6.644.79,039.6
16Idaho5.863.8370.3
17Florida5.125.35,957.5
18North Carolina6.837.13,505.2
19Arizona6.543.21,953.5
20Minnesota7.282.91,327.2
21New York5.653.149,634.7
22Pennsylvania6.336.56,721.7
23Rhode Island6.345.989.8
24Vermont5.855.6657.9
25Georgia6.031.24,222.4
26Wyoming4.427.5119.5
27Illinois5.748.77,316.7
28Wisconsin6.149.8541.5
29Indiana4.937.2490.5
30Ohio5.945.72,351.4
31South Carolina4.826.6252.3
32Alaska6.59.132.5
33Missouri5.626.91,225.4
34Alabama5.912.0245.9
35Montana5.716.3510.0
36Nevada3.933.21,722.4
37Kansas5.730.8283.9
38Maine5.016.6115.3
39Hawaii5.111.263.1
40Tennessee5.121.41,025.8
41Oklahoma5.117.3109.4
42Kentucky4.319.3200.0
43Iowa5.637.6205.3
44South Dakota4.818.4168.7
45Nebraska6.021.7317.7
46Arkansas3.917.7131.1
47West Virginia4.17.529.1
48North Dakota4.217.847.7
49Louisiana3.611.186.8
50Mississippi3.36.911.3

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