I know, I know. I can be such a complete and utter homer when it comes to those (often completely silly) state and city rankings. Healthiest. Wealthiest. Wisest.
Bring it on! Most of the time “we’re” number one or two.
Weather and housing costs aside, this is a pretty good place to live.
And this winter even the weather is being benevolent. Way too early to celebrate (and, of course, when you think the abnormal warmth through, it’s probably not a good thing), but we’ve only had two days in the twenties and about two inches of snow. So far. Of course, last year at this time we hadn’t had any snow to speak of either, before being thumped with 2-foot storms five weeks in a row.
As for housing costs, on behalf of the younger generations, I do bemoan them. It can’t be fun looking for digs around here when you’re just starting out. On the other hand, I’ll be clicking my heels and dragging my Scrooge McDuck loot bags to the bank when I eventually sell my condo. (As long as the oceans don’t disastrously rise between now and then, and this place turns into a houseboat. Or, worse, submarine. Glug, glug, glug…)
The latest kudos to Massachusetts come from Bloomberg’s ranking of the Most Innovative States.
In the rankings, which were released just yesterday, Massachusetts eked out a narrow victory over California, 93.3 to 93.0.
Of course the faux precision of these numbers should be a good indication of the somewhat ludicrous nature of these sorts of rankings. On the other hand, would anyone be surprised that the top three spots were taken by Massachusetts, California, and Washington, while the cellar-dwellers were South Dakota, West Virginia, and Mississippi?
Okay. Maybe South Dakota wouldn’t have sprung first to mind. I’d have said Louisiana. And I wouldn’t have been that far off. Louisiana was 5th from the bottom. But poor Mississippi. They tend to come in rock bottom in pretty much every ranking I’ve seen. Poor states tend to fare poorly in most measures.
Overall, New England acquits itself quite well. Connecticut came in 5th, New Hampshire 12th, and Rhode Island 14th. Even Vermont, at 25th, narrowly made it into the top half of the rankings. Let’s give it up for Burton Snowboards and Ben & Jerry’s new flavors. Only Maine, which I guess hasn’t had much by way of innovation since Leon Leonwood Bean invented the duck boot in ought-two - as in 1902 – languishes (43rd) near the bottom of the pack. Apparently, not that much innovation going on with pine trees and lobster traps.
Here’s what went into Bloomberg’s rankings:
The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index scored each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across six equally weighted metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity.