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How Minnesota’s Science and Tech Capabilities Rank

imageForEntry7 Nl7The 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, Minnesota ranks as the 20th most innovative state in the country.

Minnesota’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 7.2% of all employment in the state, the 11th 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 Rank State Employment in STEM fields, 2021 (%) Patents per 100k people, 2020 Venture capital invested, 2021 ($M)
1 Massachusetts 9.1 125.8 35,499.0
2 Washington 10.2 117.7 8,604.3
3 Maryland 10.1 40.3 2,237.4
4 Colorado 9.2 64.3 6,761.7
5 Virginia 9.3 34.7 2,570.8
6 California 7.9 128.7 157,533.6
7 Delaware 7.2 35.7 1,866.1
8 New Hampshire 7.3 79.4 102.4
9 Utah 7.6 61.0 4,154.8
10 Oregon 7.5 96.4 1,580.3
11 New Mexico 6.9 24.1 169.3
12 New Jersey 7.2 54.2 5,589.0
13 Michigan 7.2 74.4 1,386.7
14 Connecticut 7.0 96.5 1,709.0
15 Texas 6.6 44.7 9,039.6
16 Idaho 5.8 63.8 370.3
17 Florida 5.1 25.3 5,957.5
18 North Carolina 6.8 37.1 3,505.2
19 Arizona 6.5 43.2 1,953.5
20 Minnesota 7.2 82.9 1,327.2
21 New York 5.6 53.1 49,634.7
22 Pennsylvania 6.3 36.5 6,721.7
23 Rhode Island 6.3 45.9 89.8
24 Vermont 5.8 55.6 657.9
25 Georgia 6.0 31.2 4,222.4
26 Wyoming 4.4 27.5 119.5
27 Illinois 5.7 48.7 7,316.7
28 Wisconsin 6.1 49.8 541.5
29 Indiana 4.9 37.2 490.5
30 Ohio 5.9 45.7 2,351.4
31 South Carolina 4.8 26.6 252.3
32 Alaska 6.5 9.1 32.5
33 Missouri 5.6 26.9 1,225.4
34 Alabama 5.9 12.0 245.9
35 Montana 5.7 16.3 510.0
36 Nevada 3.9 33.2 1,722.4
37 Kansas 5.7 30.8 283.9
38 Maine 5.0 16.6 115.3
39 Hawaii 5.1 11.2 63.1
40 Tennessee 5.1 21.4 1,025.8
41 Oklahoma 5.1 17.3 109.4
42 Kentucky 4.3 19.3 200.0
43 Iowa 5.6 37.6 205.3
44 South Dakota 4.8 18.4 168.7
45 Nebraska 6.0 21.7 317.7
46 Arkansas 3.9 17.7 131.1
47 West Virginia 4.1 7.5 29.1
48 North Dakota 4.2 17.8 47.7
49 Louisiana 3.6 11.1 86.8
50 Mississippi 3.3 6.9 11.3
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