bypass top and left hand navigationNational Science Board   HOME     PDF     SEARCH     HELP     COMMENTS  
Science and Engineering Indicators 2004
  Table of Contents     Figures     Tables     Appendix Tables     Presentation Slides  
Chapter 8:
Secondary Education
Higher Education
Financial Research and Development Inputs
R&D Outputs
Science and Technology in the Economy



Data Tools
Tell us what you think about the new state indicators chapter

State Indicators

PDFPrint this chapter (2.34MB)

Types of Indicators
Data Sources and Considerations
Indicator Pages

In response to increasing interest in both the policy and research communities about the role of science and technology (S&T) in state and regional economic development, a new experimental chapter devoted to the subject is included in the 2004 edition of Science and Engineering Indicators. This chapter focuses on the performance of individual states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It introduces a series of indicators designed to present information about various aspects of the state S&T infrastructure and to stimulate discussion about appropriate state S&T indicators. The data used to calculate these indicators have been gathered from both public and private sources. Whenever possible, data covering a 10-year span are provided to identify meaningful trends. However, because consistent data were not always available for the 10-year period, data for certain indicators are given only for the years in which comparisons are justified.

Ready access to accurate and timely state-level information is an important tool for formulating effective S&T policies below the national level. By studying the programs and performance of their peers, state policymakers may be able to assess and enhance their own programs and performance. Hopefully, these indicators will encourage the development of benchmarks that individual states can use to assess their progress in specific areas and to assist in setting realistic goals for improvement. The tables are intended to give the user a convenient listing of some of the quantitative data that may be relevant to technology-based economic development. In addition to describing the behavior of an indicator, the "Findings" section frequently presents an interpretation of the behavior's relevance and meaning. The interpretation is sometimes speculative, with the objective of motivating further thought and discussion.

Types of Indicators top of page

Twenty-four indicators are included in this chapter and grouped into the following areas:

Secondary education
Higher education
Financial research and development inputs
R&D outputs
S&T in the economy

Indicators in the first two areas address educational attainment in a particular state. They focus on student science and mathematics skills at the secondary level, public school teacher salaries, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in S&E.

The workforce indicators focus on the level of S&E training in the employed labor force. These indicators reflect the higher education level of the labor force and the degree of specialization in S&E disciplines and occupations.

Indicators in the financial section address the source and level of funding for R&D. They show how much R&D is being performed relative to the size of a state's business base. Comparison of these indicators illustrates the extent to which R&D is conducted by industrial or academic performers.

The last two sections, R&D and S&T outputs, quantify the robustness of a region's S&T activity through measurement of its production of patents and technical publications, venture capital investment, and high-technology business activity. Although data adequately addressing both the quantity and quality of R&D results are difficult to find, these indicators offer a reasonable information base.

Data Sources and Considerations  top of page

Raw data for each indicator are presented in the tables. The first entry in each table represents the average value for the states. For most indicators, the state average was calculated by summing the values for the 50 states and the District of Columbia for both the numerator and the denominator and then dividing the two. Any alternate approach is indicated in the notes at the bottom of the table.

The values for most indicators are expressed as ratios or percentages to remove the effect of state size and facilitate comparison between large and small states or between heavily and sparsely populated states. For example, an indicator of higher education achievement is not defined as the absolute number of degrees conferred in a state, because sparsely populated states are not likely to have as extensive a higher education system as states with larger populations. Instead, the indicator is defined as the number of degrees per number of residents in the college-age cohort, which measures the intensity of educational services relative to the size of the resident population.

No official list of high-technology industries or sanctioned methodology to identify the most technology-intensive industries exists in the United States. The definition used here was developed by the Department of Commerce's Technology Administration in concert with the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. See "Technical Note: Defining High-Technology Industries."

Indicator Pages  top of page

A page containing key elements has been created to supplement the data for each indicator. The first element is a map that is color coded to show in which quartile each state placed on that indicator for the latest year that data were available. This helps the reader quickly grasp geographic trends. See the sample map below showing the outline of each state. On the map, the darkest color indicates states ranking in the first or highest quartile, and white indicates states ranking in the fourth or lowest quartile. Cross-hatching indicates states for which no data are available.

Map of US showing states

     AK........ Alaska      KY........ Kentucky      NY........ New York
     AL........ Alabama      LA........ Louisiana      OH........ Ohio
     AR........ Arkansas      MA....... Massachusetts      OK........ Oklahoma
     AZ........ Arizona      MD....... Maryland      OR........ Oregon
     CA........ California      ME........ Maine      PA......... Pennsylvania
     CO....... Colorado      MI......... Michigan      RI.......... Rhode Island
     CT........ Connecticut      MN........ Minnesota      SC........ South Carolina
     DC....... District of Columbia      MO....... Missouri      SD........ South Dakota
     DE........ Delaware      MS........ Mississippi      TN........ Tennessee
     FL.......... Florida      MT........ Montana      TX......... Texas
     GA....... Georgia      NC........ North Carolina      UT........ Utah
     HI......... Hawaii      ND........ North Dakota      VA......... Virginia
     IA......... Iowa      NE........ Nebraska      VT......... Vermont
     ID......... Idaho      NH........ New Hampshire      WA........ Washington
     IL.......... Illinois      NJ........ New Jersey      WI......... Wisconsin
     IN......... Indiana      NM....... New Mexico      WV........ West Virginia
     KS........ Kansas      NV........ Nevada      WY....... Wyoming

The second element is a quartiles table. States falling in a particular quartile are listed alphabetically. The range of indicator values for that quartile is shown at the top of the column. Ties at quartile breaks were resolved by moving the tied states into one quartile. All of the indicators are broad measures, and several rely on sample estimates that have a margin of error. Small differences in state values generally carry little useful information. A short citation for the data source appears below the quartile table.

The third element is a short description of the indicator, a brief note about the nature of the data, and other information describing the data.

The fourth element is a summary of findings. The findings include the national average and comments on trends and patterns for the particular indicator.

  Top Of Page