In the report they rank the 50 states based on specific metrics that relate to factors that drive the New Economy. The rankings are what interest me. For example, Minnesota (my home state) ranks 11th overall. It is the only state from the Midwest in the top 15. If you expand to the top 25, we add Illinois and Michigan as the only other Midwestern states.
(See the map and full list here.)
In fact, if you pull back and look at the whole US map, you see most of the top ranking states are on one of our three coasts. Of the top 20 states, only 5 are in the interior of the continent.
Take a look at the map and the list. See where your state ranks. Then, download the report and look at the details that make up the rankings. The metrics they use seem reasonable. And they shed a lot of light on how our 50 states compare in some interesting areas.
For example, Minnesota ranks 6th in what the study authors call “Knowledge Jobs”. It is the only Midwestern state in the top 10 and only one of two top 10 states not on the east coast. So, Minnesota has more “Knowledge Jobs” than technology and education rich states like Washington, California and North Carolina.
Another surprise is what the authors define as “Online Population”. Minnesota ranks 4th here. Again it’s ahead of California, Washington and also New York, Connecticut and the overall leader, Massachusetts.
One thing this study tells me is to be careful making assumptions. Some states and regions have reputations as leaders in technology but they rank lower in this study than many other states. Even though the media might perpetuate some broad generalizations and stereotypes about certain states, they are not always true.
Another thing the study tells me is the devil is in the details. This study uses 26 factors to rank the states. And these factors are not always consistent. A state might rank quite high in some and very low in others without a readily apparent reason.
But, the best thing about this study is it’s a great way to structure our thinking about what the New Economy really is and how it might affect us. Even though it ranks the 50 states, the purpose is not to spur competition. It’s to help all of us see how we might position our regions to better respond to the New Economy. In fact, the study has advice on to do exactly that. I would recommend downloading a copy and reading it soon.