10 States that Know How to Invent Like Thomas Edison

In his lifetime, Thomas Edison received 1,093 patents in the United States alone. His record wasn’t surpassed until 2003 by a Japanese inventor, 72 years after Edison’s final patent application. Today, we have come a long way with about 1,762 patent applications filed across the world each day.

According to the U.S. Patent Office, 161,809 patent applications were filed in the United States in 2018. A majority of those patents, about 68%, were filed in the Top 10 Invention States of all time…including Thomas Edison’s home state of New Jersey! Based on analyzed data from the U.S. Patent Office, below is the ranking of the states with the most patents awarded to its citizens from 1963 to 2018:

Photo courtesy of Economist.com

10. Washington

With 107,433 inventions awarded, Washington State ranks #10 on our list of most inventive states in the U.S. Home to some of the most biggest innovation companies in the world like Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing this state is a clear winner when it comes to STEM professionals. In fact, it has the most STEM professionals in the country living there!

Photo courtesy of Clevelandclinic.org

9. Ohio

Ohio didn’t just invent the National Football League! With 161,393 total inventions to its name, this states ranks #9 and lives up to Edison’s birthplace title with many well-known advancements in health & rubber thanks to innovation hubs like Cleveland Clinic & Goodyear Tire.

Photo courtesy of MIT.edu

8. Massachusetts

Out of top technology colleges that reside in Massachusetts like MIT and Harvard has emerged innovation adding up to 168,470 inventions created in the state. Although this state is only 8 on the list of total inventions, its inventions per capita trump the rest at 0.0244 making it the most productive state for inventing!

Photo courtesy of BLTA.com

7. Pennsylvania

Continuing the east coast trend of innovation, Pennsylvania has had 174,873 inventions awarded over the years. Its elite Penn State students savvy in business and economics and one of the highest STEM testing reputations for middle school lead the way to the many new ideas.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company on Glassdoor

6. Michigan

The car capital of the world, also known as Michigan, has 179,728 inventions in its repertoire. Edison spent a lot of time brainstorming & creating in this state where Ford Motor Company and his friend, Henry Ford, was headquartered!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

5. Illinois

Illinois has had 192,870 inventions made in the state over the years, including the zipper & the dishwasher to make our lives easier!

Photo Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park

4. New Jersey

Edison’s home state, New Jersey, takes the #4 spot of most inventive states with 196,085 and an impressive 0.0221 per capita rate that competes with Massachusetts. The symbol of a bright idea comes from this small but mighty state…the light bub!

Photo Courtesy of Texas Public Radio

3. Texas

As home to some of largest and most successful engineering schools in the country, it isn’t surprising that Texas ranks high on this list with 237,578 inventions awarded! From 3D printing to wind turbines, this state has lead the charge to the future with its innovation.

Photo Courtesy of Vival.net

2. New York

New York city is seen as one of the leading technology and start-up hubs in the world, having created 297,184 patents and landing spot #2 on our list. They are ranked #1 for funding availability and quality as well as number of STEM students/graduates and life sciences universities, creating a lot of potential for growth and new ideas!

Photo Courtesy of StashLearn

1. California

Topping the list of inventive states in the U.S. is California, soaring above the rest with 780,305 inventions awarded and a competitive 0.197 per capita. It should not come as a surprise that Silicone Valley is home to so many inventions (like the iPhone), with powerful technology companies like Apple, Intel, and Disney thriving in its innovative atmosphere. There is no stronger sign that technology is lighting the way to the future!


1 thought on “10 States that Know How to Invent Like Thomas Edison

  1. Kurt Olaf Eshelman

    the per capita number seems the best way to compare states otherwise large population states would most like be in the top bracket. I would be interested in the top ten per capita states.

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