The 5 most — and 5 least — innovative states

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Personal finance website WalletHub recently released a report on this year's most and least innovative states, comparing all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 metrics pertaining to things science-, research- and development-related. With the U.S. poised to spend some $581 billion on R&D in 2019, here's a look at the Top 5 states— and, conversely, the Bottom 5 — for innovation nationwide. (Data sets range from share of STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] professionals to R&D spending per capita.)

Source:  WalletHub

No. 5 Least Innovative: Tennessee

Construction in Nashville, Tennessee
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 28.54
"Human Capital" rank: 48
"Innovation Environment" rank 43
Of note: Tennessee came in at 49 out of 51 in projected STEM job demand by 2020.

Pictured: Construction in downtown Nashville.

No. 4 Least Innovative: Iowa

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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 28.11
"Human Capital" rank: 46
"Innovation Environment" rank 46
Of note: Iowa came in at 47 out of 51 in terms of the share of tech firms nationwide.

Pictured: Rural Iowa farm.

No. 3 Least Innovative: West Virginia

The Green Bank radio telescope, West Virginia.
ablokhin | iStock | Getty Images

WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 27.06
"Human Capital" rank: 47
"Innovation Environment" rank 51
Of note: The Mountain State ranked in the bottom five in venture funding per capita, R&D spending per capita, STEM job demand and share of STEM professionals.

Pictured: Green Bank Radio Telescope in distance, West Virginia.

No. 2 Least Innovative: Louisiana

Oil platform, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Jess McGlothlin Media / Aurora Photos | Aurora Open | Getty Images

WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 21.89
"Human Capital" rank: 50
"Innovation Environment" rank 49
Of note: Louisiana ranked even lower than West Virginia in terms of venture funding per capita, R&D spending per capita, STEM job demand and share of STEM professionals.

Pictured: Oil platform, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

No. 1 Least Innovative: Mississippi

Cotton field plantation, Mississippi
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 19.13
"Human Capital" rank: 51
"Innovation Environment" rank 50
Of note: Mississippi ranked dead-last in venture funding per capita, R&D spending per capita and share of both STEM professionals and science and engineering graduates aged 25 and older, as well as projected STEM jobs.

Pictured: Cotton field in the Mississippi Delta.

No. 5 Most Innovative: Colorado

The University of Denver's Meyer-Womble Observatory in Mount Evans, Colorado.
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 63.35
"Human Capital" rank: 6
"Innovation Environment" rank 4
Of note: The Centennial State topped the list for best 8th-grade math and science performance.

Pictured: The University of Denver's Meyer-Womble Observatory in Mount Evans, Colorado.

No. 4 Most Innovative: Maryland

Maryland Science Center, Baltimore
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 64.06
"Human Capital" rank: 5
"Innovation Environment" rank 7
Of note: Maryland ranked No. 3 in terms of highest share of tech companies and R&D spending per capita.

Pictured: Maryland Science Center, Baltimore.

No. 3 Most Innovative: District of Columbia

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 67.47
"Human Capital" rank: 1
"Innovation Environment" rank 17
Of note: The nation's capital came it at No. 1 in terms of share of STEM professionals, STEM job demand, share of tech firms and share of science and engineering graduates.

Pictured: The Smithsonian Institute's Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

No. 2 Most Innovative: Washington

Space Needle and Mount Baker, Seattle.
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 68.03
"Human Capital" rank: 4
"Innovation Environment" rank 4
Of note: The Evergreen State edged out its namesake back East to take the overall No. 2 spot, but lost to D.C. in STEM job demand and share of science and engineering graduates.

Pictured: The Space Needle and Mount Baker, Seattle.

No. 1 Most Innovative: Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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WalletHub Innovation Index ranking: 72.31
"Human Capital" rank: 2
"Innovation Environment" rank 1
Of note: Massachusetts tied with D.C. for highest R&D spending per capita, and (along with California and New York) for high venture-capital funding per capita.

Pictured: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts.