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Data: Milken Institute; Table: Axios Visuals

Massachusetts, Colorado and California top a list of U.S. states with the greatest "capacity for achieving prosperity through scientific discovery and technological innovation," according to the Milken Institute's 2020 State Technology and Science Index released today.

Why it matters: Addressing the factors that allow states to create more jobs and economic growth could help them recover from the pandemic's economic fallout and adapt to future downturns and disruptions.

  • Maryland, Washington and Utah rounded out the top tier of states on the index, which has been reported every two years for almost two decades.

Zoom in: "Utah did several things right," says study author Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics and California Center.

  • The state is anchored by three universities (University of Utah, Utah State and Brigham Young University), matched investments by various tech and life sciences companies in the state, and sold people on the lifestyle, he says.
  • "They built a critical mass, and that is incredibly important," he adds.

The bottom line: "Policy matters tremendously. Geography and history are an advantage, but it is really about the states that invest and protect what they do," says Klowden.

  • The states consistently in the top 20 make an effort around education and linking people to jobs, he says.
  • "You can only grow so much from poaching from other states. You ultimately need to grow the people internally."

Methodology: The index uses 105 metrics in five areas (research and development inputs, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science workforce, and technology concentration and dynamism) to evaluate states.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 20, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

New Hampshire on Friday became the latest state to implement a mask mandate to fight COVID-19, amid a steep spike in cases across the country.

The big picture: States are reintroducing mitigation efforts like closing businesses and advising people to stay home as the U.S. averages the most daily cases of any point in the pandemic.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.

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