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Silicon Valley, according to a new Milken Institute report on North America's high-tech regions. But Seattle, Cambridge, and D.C. are among the nation's leading high-tech hot spots. The report also charts the tech turnarounds in Rustbelt regions like Kalamazoo, Michigan and Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, as well as documenting the rise of leading high-tech regions in Canada and Mexico. Here's the top ten:




 Score
1 1 San Jose - Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 100.0
2 3 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 46.4
32 Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA 45.2
45 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 41.8
54 Los Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale, CA 40.2
66 Dallas - Plano - Irving, TX 21.8
77 San Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos, CA 19.3
811 Santa Ana - Anaheim-Irvine, CA 17.7
99 New York - White Plains - Wayne, NY-NJ 16.8
108 San Francisco - San Mateo-Redwood City, CA 16.1


Outside the U.S., the report finds that:

  • Toronto, ON jumped 10 places from 2003, showing impressive gains in building and attracting high-tech businesses in manufacturing and reproducing of optical media, biopharmaceuticals, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
  • Baja California has become a key manufacturing center for high-tech giants such as Casio, Honeywell, Sanyo, and Sony. The state finished in second place in 2003, just after San Jose, in the ranking for manufacturing of semiconductors and other electronic components. It also leads North America in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing.
  • Vancouver, BC showed the greatest rise among the top-10 metros for software publishing, climbing from 14th place in 2003 to ninth place in 2007.

My colleague Charlotta Mellander compared these Milken high-tech rankings with our own regional demographic measures for the top 50 U.S. and Canadian metros and found significant correlations to:

  • Economic Output: Measured as gross metropolitan product per person (0.475).
  • Talent: The Creative Class (0.46),Super-creatives (0.34), and Human Capital - percent of population with a BA and above (0.3).
  • Openness and Tolerance: The Mosaic Index - a measure of openness to foreign-born people (0.45); and also to the Gay Index (0.315) when San Jose - the extreme outlier - is excluded from the analysis.

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Richard Florida is Senior Editor at The Atlantic and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto. See his most recent writing at The Atlantic Cities. More

Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative Class, Who's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He is founder of the Creative Class Group.

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