Massachusetts, Washington Top Kauffman Foundation’s List of “New Economy” States

11/20/08Follow @wroush

In a report released Tuesday, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation named Massachusetts the nation’s leading state when it comes to the structural economic factors that make the state’s businesses competitive in the “New Economy”—defined as global, entrepreneurial, knowledge-based, rooted in information technologies, and innovation-driven.

Massachusetts hung onto its #1 ranking from the foundations’ 2007 report, with a score of 97 on an index aggregating some 29 measures, from the educational attainment of the workforce to the quantity of exports, the amount of job churn, the penetration of broadband Internet access, venture capital activity, and the number of patents issued to local inventors.

Washington state, meanwhile, climbed from the number-four spot in 2007 to the second-place spot in this year’s report, with a score of 81.9. Maryland (80), Delaware (79.3), and New Jersey (77) were close behind.

The top-ranked states, according to an announcement from the Kauffman foundation, are rich in “knowledge jobs” requiring at least a two-year degree. They all show above-average levels of entrepreneurship, have large numbers of citizens who use the Internet, and benefit from large numbers of skilled immigrants, both from other states and from other countries.

Massachusetts’ New England neighbors Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont fared well in the rankings, placing 6th, 11th, 13th, and 19th, respectively. Washington’s neighbor Oregon came in 15th. The five lowest-ranking states were, in reverse order, Mississippi, West Virgina, Arkansas, Alabama, and Wyoming.

“To succeed in the New Economy, states face a new imperative to boost the competitiveness of their economies—not just relative to each other, but to other nations,” Robert Atkinson, president of ITIF and primary author of the report, said in the announcement. “If they are going to meet the economic challenges of the future, states will need to overhaul their familiar approaches to economic development.”

Of course, having picked Boston as our first home city and Seattle as our second, we here at Xconomy could have predicted the study’s results. But California, home to our third bureau in San Diego, may have some catching up to do. It dropped from 5th place in the 2007 report to 8th place this year, with a score of 75.

Here’s the complete rundown:


State 2008 Rank Score* 2007 Rank
Massachusetts 1 97 1
Washington 2 82 4
Maryland 3 80 3
Delaware 4 79 7
New Jersey 4 77 2
Connecticut 6 76 6
Virginia 7 76 8
California 8 75 5
New York 9 74 10
Colorado 10 70 9
Rhode Island 11 68 15
Utah 12 68 12
New Hampshire 13 68 13
Minnesota 14 66 11
Oregon 15 64 17
Illinois 16 63 16
Michigan 17 62 19
Texas 18 62 14
Vermont 19 60 20
Arizona 20 60 22
Georgia 21 60 18
Pennsylvania 22 59 21
Florida 23 58 23
North Carolina 24 57 26
Nevada 25 57 27
Idaho 26 56 24
Nebraska 27 55 28
Maine 28 54 32
New Mexico 29 53 33
Ohio 30 53 29
Kansas 31 53 34
Alaska 32 51 25
Wisconsin 33 51 30
South Carolina 34 49 39
Hawaii 35 48 41
Indiana 36 47 31
Missouri 37 47 35
Tennesee 38 47 31
North Dakota 39 47 37
Montana 40 46 42
Louisiana 41 45 44
Iowa 42 45 38
Oklahoma 43 43 40
South Dakota 44 43 48
Kentucky 45 41 45
Wyoming 46 40 43
Alabama 47 37 46
Arkansas 48 35 47
West Virginia 49 32 50
Mississippi 50 30 49

* Rounded to nearest integer.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.