The 5 most — and 5 least — innovative states

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The 5 most — and 5 least — innovative states

Biotechnology Research, female scientist mixing a chemical formula
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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

    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.

    Construction in Nashville, Tennessee
    copyright Dan Reynolds Photography | Moment | Getty Images
  • No. 4 Least Innovative: Iowa

    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.

    Overcast sky over barn, Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA
    Neal Johnson | 500px Prime | Getty Images
  • No. 3 Least Innovative: West Virginia

    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.

    The Green Bank radio telescope, West Virginia.
    ablokhin | iStock | Getty Images
  • No. 2 Least Innovative: Louisiana

    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.

    Oil platform, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
    Jess McGlothlin Media / Aurora Photos | Aurora Open | Getty Images
  • No. 1 Least Innovative: Mississippi

    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.

    Cotton field plantation, Mississippi
    CarasdelMundo | Moment | Getty Images
  • No. 5 Most Innovative: Colorado

    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.

    The University of Denver's Meyer-Womble Observatory in Mount Evans, Colorado.
    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto | iStock | Getty Images
  • No. 4 Most Innovative: Maryland

    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.

    Maryland Science Center, Baltimore
    Glowimages | Glowimages | Getty Images
  • No. 3 Most Innovative: District of Columbia

    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.

    Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
    PictureNet | Corbis | Getty Images
  • No. 2 Most Innovative: Washington

    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.

    Space Needle and Mount Baker, Seattle.
    engelhardt.zenfolio.com | Moment Open | Getty Images
  • No. 1 Most Innovative: Massachusetts

    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.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Glowimages | Glowimages | Getty Images