California is home to Apple, Google, Facebook, and the rest of Silicon Valley--but it isn't the most innovative state in the United States, according to Bloomberg.
That honor goes to Massachusetts, based on rankings released by the business site Thursday. Washington, New Jersey, and Connecticut rounded out the top five. Mississippi was the unfortunate number 50.
The cluster of major universities in the Boston area certainly gave the Bay State a boost. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Tufts, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern--to name a few--all call the Boston metropolitan area home, which means no shortage of smart, young, risk-taking graduates. MIT grads alone have created over 400 startups over the past few decades.
And a high level of innovation is good news for everyone, not just those in tech jobs. "Innovation usually leads to job creation, and high-skilled job creation, mostly," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Mass., told Bloomberg. "But there are other jobs that come with it, namely, that as the labor force grows, they need haircuts, they need landscapers, all that stuff--so it does tend to have linkages to other parts of the economy."
Bloomberg's 100-point scale rated each state in six equally-weighted categories: research and development intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity.
Silicon Valley giants like Apple and Google are typically cited as some of today's most innovative--and valuable--companies. Apple's $600 billion market cap makes it the most valuable in the world. But the scale took into account the number of companies in each state, not the companies' combined market values. That factor undoubtedly helped Massachusetts grab the title.
New York finished 17th, despite being ranked first in the productivity category. Texas finished 15th. Colorado (8th) and Minnesota (10th) were the only two states between the coastlines to crack the top 10.
West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Louisiana joined bottom-dwelling Mississippi at numbers 46 through 50.