Monday, January 11, 2016


For years, creativity has been a defining feature of Rochester.  Today's artistic vitality is based in the region's impressive entrepreneurial history.  Big names such as Western Union, Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, Gannett, French's Mustard, and Champion have their roots in Rochester.  Given the downsizing and/or relocation of these iconic companies, one might expect that intellectual activity has also waned.  But at least as of five years ago, such productivity was alive and well.  Here is a list of the 20 American metro areas with the most patents per million residents as assessed using data from 2007-2011:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  2. Burlington, VT
  3. Rochester, MN
  4. Corvallis, OR
  5. Boulder, CO
  6. Poughkeepsie, NY
  7. Ann Arbor, MI
  8. San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Santa Cruz, CA
  11. Seattle, WA
  12. Raleigh, NC
  13. Rochester, NY
  14. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
  15. Trenton, NJ
  16. Sheboygan, WI
  17. San Diego, CA
  18. Albany, NY
  19. Ithaca, NY
  20. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

After five and a half years of living in Upstate New York, I have realized that part of the culture is to apologize for living here and discuss when you are going to depart.  Yet interestingly, Upstate New York comprises 20% of this list.

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