The NWCCOG Region is rich with the potential for innovation and entrepreneurship.  One way to measure this is by examining the innovation assets available in the region through the Stats America Innovation Index. This data tool measures a number of variables within five sub-indexes:

  • Human Capital and Knowledge Creation
  • Business Dynamics
  • Business Profile
  • Employment and Productivity
  • Economic Well-Being

The index allows for the creation of an innovation index – i.e. a measure of how innovative a region is – for multiple counties.  Let’s examine how innovative NWCCOG’s region is:

Innovation Index: Counties in NWCCOG’s Region

CountyInnovation Index Rank in U.S.
(out of 3,110 counties)


Now, let’s look at how each of NWCCOG’s counties measure up in each component of the innovation index.

Human Capital and Knowledge Creation

This category suggests the extent to which a region’s population and labor force are able to engage in innovative activities.

Human Capital & Knowledge Creation OVERALL index 85.9101.969.8 90.494.1
“Salad Days” Pop. Growth (ages 25-44) 143.497.4 77.1109.9123.5
Educational Attainment Core Index 124.3136.1109.6127.6153.0
High School Attainment (ages 18-24) 89.3 83.0142.068.2164.4
Some College, No Degree (Age 25+) 57.798.8159.280.5105.3
Associates Degree (Age 25+) 96.5162.469.292.397.6
Bachelor’s Degree (Age 25+) 199.9199.291.4200.0199.9
Graduate Degree (Age 25+) 178.1137.186.2196.9197.8
Knowledge Creation & Technology Diffusion Core Index 40.6105.90.0 63.136.7
Patent Technology Diffusion 22.0157.00.0189.3
University-based Knowledge Spillovers
Business Incubator Spillovers 0.082.7
STEM Education and Occupations Core Index 47.942.271.049.3 43.3
STEM degree creation (per 1,000 population)
Technology-based Knowledge Occupation Clusters 54.450.780.656.4 52.2
High-Tech Industry Employment Share 89.376.1132.491.477.7

Business Dynamics Index

This category gauges the competitiveness of a region by investigating the entry and exit of individual firms—the creative destruction measures.

Business Dynamics OVERALL index77.453.735.449.474.1
Establishment Formation Core Index132.4115.576.5111.9123.2
Establishment Births to All Est. Ratio166.5146.652.6122.8160.8
Traded Sector Estab. Births to All Estab.126.283.4186.3102.8105.4
Jobs Attributed to Estab. Births138.6153.90.0106.2110.3
Total Employment Ratio83.4
Change in Estab. Births to All Estabs. Ratio98.578.167.2115.6116.3
Establishment Dynamics Core Index92.296.763.281.693.8
Estab. Expansions Divided by Estab. Contractions97.8115.350.6 91.194.9
Estab. Births Divided by Estab. Deaths97.496.964.6 79.696.1
Traded Sector Estab. Dynamics81.5 77.974.573.990.4
Venture Capital Dollar Measures Core Index
Venture Capital (Annual Avg. $)
Expansion State Venture Capital $
High-Tech Venture Capital $
Change in Venture Capital $
Venture Capital Count Measures Core Index34.
Initial Public Offerings0.
Venture Capital Deals (Avg. Annual)
Change in Venture Capital Deals0.

Business Profile Index

This category measures local business conditions and resources available to entrepreneurs and businesses.

Business Profile OVERALL Index 109.376.382.0 90.578.8
Foreign Direct Invst. (FDI) Attractiveness Core Index
FDI Employment Index, Foreign Source
FDI $ Index, Foreign Source96.
FDI Employment Index, National Source104. 0.0
FDI $ Index, National Source 94.087.3 87.3 92.6 87.3
Connectivity Core Index 114.3134.064.3101.0107.6
Residential High Speed Connectivity Density 199.4
189.373.4 199.9199.9
Change in Residential High Speed Connections 0.081.2
Farm Operators with Internet Access 143.5131.5118.5103.0122.8
Dynamic Industry Profile Core Index 159.5133.4114.3162.2180.9
Small Establishments (Average) 199.7199.9178.6198.2199.8
Large Establishments (Average) 161.8
High-Tech, Early-in-life-Cycle Estab. Ratio 179.6120.8164.3194.2181.0
Proprietorship Core Index 103.294.7151.1101.889.7
Proprietorship Rate 135.6137.6199.7109.5113.3
Change in Propietorship Rate 94.463.8 190.299.471.9
Proprietor Income to Total Wages and Salaries 98.593.959.1 114.790.2
Availability of Capital from All Banks 83.783.5155.483.783.6

Employment and Productivity Index

This category describes economic growth, regional desirability or direct outcomes of innovative activity.
Employment & Productivity OVERALL index105.978.7 94.8 99.084.4
Job Growth to Population Growth Ratio135.691.9182.2117.7111.2
Change in Share of High Tech Industry Employment75.597.474.8 69.380.8
Industry Performance Core Index77.195.8138.573.268.0
Cluster Diversity53.153.5198.255.2 53.0
Cluster Strength87.786.7136.985.587.1
Cluster Growth Factor95.4147.180.578.8 63.8
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Core Index79.872.490.490.174.6
GDP per Worker96.276.966.4118.578.8
Change in GDP per Worker63.468.0114.561.8 70.4
Patents Core Index175.143.50.0152.2107.1
Change in Avg. Patenting Rate176.087.10.0172.593.7
Patent Diversity174.20.00.0131.9120.5

Economic Well-Being Index

This category explores standard of living and other economic outcomes.

Economic Well-Being OVERALL index 113.6114.9137.7108.2135.2
Per Capita Personal Income Growth95.357.288.296.1123.8
Income Inequality (Mean to Median Ratio)63.4174.1180.450.0110.2
Poverty Rate (Average)167.7165.2152.2170.2140.2
Unemployment Rate (Average)141.2143.8170.3130.9165.1
Dependency Based on Income Sources (Ratio)197.4180.7147.4198.4196.2
Net Migration (Average)91.153.7166.377.0 146.8
Compensation Core Index76.272.098.4 71.499.6
Growth in wage/salary earnings per worker (Avg. Annual)72.480.0143.970.370.4
Change in Proprietor’s Income per Proprietor (Avg. Annual) 128.7