Florida ranks as one of the nation’s least innovative states


  • Photo by Joseph Gray

Innovative is a vague yet fiercely desired 21st-century label, one that Florida does not really possess, according to a new study.

According to a study by Bloomberg News, Florida, despite statewide efforts, ranks as the 35th most innovative state in the nation. 

Bloomberg ranked each state's "innovativeness" using an index that included research and development intensity, productivity, high-tech density, STEM degree holders, STEM employment and patent activity.

And now for some good news: Florida did rank 13th in high-tech density and 22nd in patents. Not bad.

However, here’s where things fall off the deep end: The state ranked 35th in research and development, 41st in STEM concentration, and a whopping 44th in productivity. That last scale was estimated by dividing the gross domestic product by the number of employed workers.

While these rankings are quite concerning at face value, there is a much deeper issue that could result: Many of the brightest minds may be deterred from staying in the state post-college graduation, and cutting-edge companies and startups may be discouraged from setting up shop here.

Massachusetts just barely surpassed California as the most innovative state, while Mississippi, West Virginia and South Dakota rounded out the bottom of the list.

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