The WalletHub list of the 10 most innovative states is out, and Washington, D.C. ranks number 4. Although the District drops slightly from last year's first place ranking, it still ranks first in multiple categories.

In many ways, innovation is the backbone of U.S. economic growth. As technology and science advance our country continues to push innovation forward. In fact, it is estimated that in 2018 the U.S. will have spent $553 billion on research and development, which is more than any other country in the world! So which states are the most innovative? WalletHub released their list of the 10 most innovative states, and all of the DMV states reached the top 10! WalletHub used a methodology that examined 22 factors, which fell into either the human capital category or the innovation environment category. In the human capital category were factors that included share of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals, projected STEM-job demand by 2020, and AP exam participation. While the innovation environment category had factors like share of technology companies, R&D spending per captia, and R&D intensity. Each factor was rated on a 100-point scale, then the states were given a weighted average across all 22 metrics to calculate their “State Innovation Index.” [caption id="attachment_8079" align="aligncenter" width="615"]10 most innovative states Courtesy of Linkedin[/caption] Massachusetts came in first in the list of 10 most innovative states, followed by Maryland at No. 2, Washington, D.C., at No. 4, and Virginia at No. 7. Professor of Economics at Sinclair Community College Ribhi Daoud recommended that states wanting to be more innovative should give tax incentives for R&D, financial incentives for higher education and research, and support capital investments in product and process development. Areas in all three DMV states are currently being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters and the states’ innovative background probably plays a large role. Certain factors such as tax-friendliness have been used by states to woo Amazon executives to their area and the Amazon executives have stated they are looking for an area with a highly educated workforce.
Washington, D.C., came in with a total state innovation index score of 66.09. While the District came in third in human capital, it ranked 11th in innovation environment. It was the winner of many sub-categories, however, such as the state with the highest share of STEM professionals, highest projected STEM-job demand by 2020, highest share of science & engineering graduates aged 25+, highest R&D spending per capita, and fastest average internet speed. It tied for first for highest venture-capital funding per capita. Washington, D.C.’s R&D spending per capita was 27 times larger than Nevada, which came in last place. As our nation’s capital and home to many esteemed colleges, Washington, D.C.’s high performance on the 10 most innovative states list makes sense. It receives tens of billions of dollars of federal funding a year for R&D. And last year, D.C. even ranked as the winner of the 10 most innovative states. To read WalletHub's full report and rankings, click here. What do you think? Why do you think Washington, D.C., dropped in rank? Please weigh in below!

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