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Indiana, Illinois rank near middle of the pack in innovation

The Indiana Statehouse. Indiana ranked 28th in innovation nationwide, according to WallHub.

Innovation has transformed the economy with the rise of the tech sector creating some of the biggest companies and wealthiest individuals in human history.

While many manufacturing jobs have shifted to cheaper labor markets overseas, the United States is expected to spend more than $581 billion on research and development this year.

The personal finance website WalletHub took a look at where the innovation was coming from in its newly released 2019’s Most & Least Innovative States, looking at factors like the share of STEM professionals, the share of technology companies, research and development intensity, and the share of public high-school students taking advanced-placement exams. Indiana and Illinois both ranked in the middle of the pack nationally.

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Indiana ranked 28th with a WalletHub State Innovation Index of 38.93, nearly half of first-place Massachusetts's 72.31 score. The Hoosier state ranked 32nd in human capital and 26th in innovation environment, according to the study.

Illinois ranked 26th, with a WalletHub State Innovation Index of 39.63, a human capital rank of 19, and an innovation environment rank of 38th.

The most innovative states nationwide were Massachusetts, Washington, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Colorado and California, WalletHub found in its study. The least innovative were Tennessee, Iowa, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.