California beaten out for top spot in list of most startup-friendly states in the US

Despite being home to Silicon Valley, California is not the most startup-friendly state in US, according to an “innovation index” devised by finance management company WalletHub.

Analysts from WalletHub ranked the 50 US states and the District of Columbia in order of “human capital” and “innovation environment”, which fed into an overall “innovation index”. These categories were further broken down into 18 separate measurements of “innovation-friendliness”.

These 18 metrics include the number of STEM professionals, eighth-grade maths and science performance, research and development spending per capita, and entrepreneurial activity, among others.

Compiled together, the most startup friendly state in the US is Washington D.C. with an index score of 70.87, closely followed by Maryland and Massachusetts, with scores of 69.82 and 69.65, respectively.

The home to Silicon Valley, California, came in fourth, lagging behind Washington D.C. by more than 8 points. It is then followed by Colorado in fifth place.

However, California did take top position for the highest amount of venture capital funding per capita and came fourth in the amount of R&D spending per capita.

Landing at the bottom of the list was West Virginia and Mississippi, with 20.05 and 21.30 points respectively. Both states fared poorly when assessed on their number of technology companies and the number of STEM graduates over 25.

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