The Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics promotes prosperity and sustainable growth by advancing regional competitiveness, economic development, and job creation. The State Technology and Science Index assesses a state's ability to support and grow a knowledge-based economy, a valuable attribute of a competitive region, through investment in and support for science- and technology-related industries.
No, the State Technology and Science Index (STSI) is an unbiased benchmarking research tool and not sponsored by any external organization or third party.
The State Technology and Science Index is an aggregate of five equally-weighted sub-indices that measure the components of a knowledge-based economy
A detailed explanation of the methodology is available here.
Results are rarely surprising in the short-term. STSI tends to be relatively static from one year to the next because developing a knowledge-based economy takes time and requires investment in people, institutions, infrastructure, and firms. States that rank highly on the index usually do so consistently because they have chosen to make these long-term investments.
Similarly, any disinvestment is unlikely to register in the rankings in the short-term. For example, a large pool of engineering talent is unlikely to move out of state in one year, but if it did, we would likely see a big drop in that state.
Also, a change in rank indicates a state is performing better or worse relative to the other 49 states. A state may hold steady in their own performance, but rise or fall in the rankings because of actions and changes in competitor states.
Rather than focusing on annual changes, looking at long-term trends provides more meaningful insights.
You can access 16 years of data online [link] to perform your own longitudinal analysis.
States with smaller economies and population bases are more vulnerable to fluctuations in their relative positions and more likely to register a significant event in the short-term.
Generally, states at the bottom do not have well-developed science- and tech-based economies. The takeaway for them is to consider if growing these industries would bolster their competitiveness regionally, nationally, or even internationally.
STSI captures states' science and technology capabilities as well as the broader ecosystem that contributes to job and wealth creation. States can assess their ability to support and grow a knowledge-based economy using the index as a benchmark.
Yes, please contact Minoli Ratnatunga if you are interested in an in-depth assessment of your state.
Examples of in-depth assessments include: