Where the Innovators Are

More
Start-Up NationPatent data is a rough but imperfect proxy for innovation; patents are often owned by large corporations or universities rather than individual inventors. But regional patent data does point toward areas of high intellectual productivity, and it's safe to assume that some of those patents flow from start-up companies. 

patent_dens_UPDATED jjg.jpg

Last year, I took a look at some of the subtler patterns that patents reveal. The map above is based on a measure of innovation density, which we calculate as patents per square kilometer.

The median density of innovation is .008 patents per square kilometer. The densest metros have more than .4 patents per square kilometer, while the least dense have fewer than .001 ....

It's not surprising that San Jose (Silicon Valley) tops the list with .831 patents per square kilometer or that nearby San Francisco is second with .446 patents per square kilometer. Los Angeles is third with .41 patents per square kilometer, followed by Trenton, Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut, Greater Boston, Boulder, Greater New York, Ann Arbor, and New Haven.

The density of patents is closely associated with key regional economic outcomes such as regional wages (.668), regional incomes (.588), and regional economic output (.459). (As usual, I point out that these correlations only suggestion associations between variables. They do not specify any causation or make any claims about the direction of causality. Other intervening variables may come into play).

Read the full story here.
Jump to comments
Presented by

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.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do Men Assume They're So Great?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month's Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In