Study: MN Best in Midwest in the “New Economy”

Minnesota ranked 13th among states according to the 2010 State New Economy Index, which assesses each state's capacity to successfully navigate the challenges of economic change.

Minnesota is among the best 15 states in the nation-and the best in the Midwest-in meeting the challenges of economic change in the “new economy,” according to a report released last week by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The report, called the 2010 State New Economy Index, uses 27 indicators to assess each state's fundamental capacity to address the challenges of economic change.

Minnesota ranked 13th overall with an index score of 67.5 out of 100. The state fared well in several areas, with top 10 rankings in the following categories: IT professionals (6); managerial, professional, and technical jobs (8); workforce education (8); high-wage traded services (5); investor patents (9); online population (7); health IT (4); and scientists and engineers (8).

The state's worse performance was in the entrepreneurial activity category, where it placed 42nd. Minnesota also performed poorly in the non-industry investment in R&D (39) and alternative energy use (31) categories.

Regionally, the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Mountain West, and Pacific regions appear to be tackling challenges, as 13 of the top 20 states are in those four regions. On the other hand, 18 of the 20 lowest-ranking states are in the Midwest, Great Plains, and the South.

Massachusetts took the top spot, followed by Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The bottom five states-Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, and Wyoming-were unchanged from 2008, the last year the index was released.

The ITIF is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that focuses on designing innovation policies and exploring how advances in information technology will create new economic opportunities to improve the quality of life.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a Kansas City, Missouri-based foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare.