Colorado ranked as the No. 5 most innovative state in the U.S. and the achievement comes with perks. (Photo: Unsplash)
Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder
Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Colorado ranked as the No. 5 most innovative state in the U.S. and the achievement comes with perks. 

For example, innovation is a principal driver of U.S. economic growth, reports WalletHub, which points toward good news for Colorado’s economic outlook.

“In 2019, the U.S. will spend an estimated $581 billion on research and development – more than any other country in the world and about 25 percent of the world’s total – helping the nation rank No. 6 on the Global Innovation Index,” writes WalletHub in its recently released study of Least and Most Innovative States.

The study compared 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 indicators of innovation-friendliness, ranging from share of STEM professionals to tech-company density. 

The top five states and their corresponding scores out of
100 are:

  • Massachusetts, 72.31
  • Washington, 68.03
  • District of Columbia, 67.47
  • Maryland, 64.06
  • Colorado, 63.35

“Certain states deserve more credit than others for America’s dominance in the tech era. These states continue to grow innovation through investments in education, research and business creation, especially in highly specialized industries,” notes WalletHub.

Colorado also ranked in the top 10 for six metrics, including tied for No. 1 in eighth-grade math and science performance, No. 5 for share of STEM professionals and share of technology companies, No. 6 for projected STEM-job demand, and No. 7 for venture capital funding per capita. 

What makes Colorado so innovative?

WalletHub compared two dimensions across 24 metrics, “Human Capital” and “Innovation Environment.”

Human Capital includes: 

  • Share of STEM Professionals
  • Share of Science & Engineering Graduates
  • Projected STEM-Job Demand by 2020
  • Scientific-Knowledge Output
  • Eighth-Grade Math & Science Performance
  • AP Exam Participation

Innovation Environment includes:

  • Share of Technology Companies
  • R&D Spending per Capita
  • R&D Intensity
  • Invention Patents per Capita
  • IP Services Exports as a Share of All Services Exports
  • Business Churn
  • Jobs in New Companies
  • Net Migration
  • Entrepreneurial Activity
  • Number of Startups “Accelerated” per Total Number of Start-ups
  • Tax-Friendliness
  • Venture-Capital Funding per Capita
  • Average Annual Federal Small-Business Funding per GDP
  • Industry-Cluster Strength
  • Open Roads & Skies
  • Friendly Laws
  • Average Internet Speed
  • Share of Households with Internet Access
  • Adoption of K–12 Computer Science Standards, Note that this metric was chosen because WalletHub considers most future innovation will be tech enabled.

For more information visit wallethub.com/edu/most-innovative-states/31890.

By Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder. Tom is the owner and founder of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at tomkalinski33@gmail.com, call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.