Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 28th 2007 at 7:55am UTC

Numbers on Science & Engineering Graduates

The State Science and Technology Institute has summarized information from the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators Project on graduation levels in science and technology by state.


Every year, the National Science Foundation releases Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E, a report filled with detailed statistics about the characteristics of science and engineering graduates enrolled at U.S. institutions. Using the annual report, SSTI has prepared a table showing the total number of graduate students for each year from 2001 to 2005 in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, each state is ranked by the percent change in science and engineering graduate enrollment from 2001 to 2005.  For the U.S. as a whole, the country’s science and engineering graduate population increased by 11.5 percent over the five years. Among states, Minnesota experienced the largest increase at 61.8 percent, rising from 6,602 students in 2001 to 10,685 in 2005. North Dakota, Alaska, Idaho and Hawaii rounded out the states with the largest percent increase, all over 30 percent.

Of the states with a total S&E graduate student population over 10,000 in 2001, Ohio, Florida, California and North Carolina experienced increases over 15 percent. The average growth rate among the entities was 13.6 percent. Louisiana experienced the largest drop of S&E graduate enrollment during the five-year period, shrinking by 16.2 percent. Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota were the only other states to witness a decrease in enrollment from 2001 to 2005. To see how each state ranks, visit SSTI’s table at:

Reports dating back to 1994 from the Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in S&E series are available at:

Not included is information on number of Science and Engineering (S&E) graduates per capita (2005 numbers and populations).  Top honors go to the District of Columbia with 16.8 S&E for every 1,000 residents.  Rounding out the top 10:

StateS&E per 1,000 residents

District of Columbia16.8


North Dakota2.48

New York2.27







Bottom honors(?) go to Maine with 0.53 S&E graduates per 1,000 residents

Of course, as we and others find time and time again, simply having them graduate from a college in your state doesn’t mean they will stay put. College graduates are the most mobile group.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

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