The latest report from the national Information Technology & Innovation Foundation puts Wisconsin in the middle of its 50-state rankings, which is the highest the state has ranked in its “New Economy Index” since it was first published in 1999.

Wisconsin ranked 26th overall in the November 2017 index, just behind Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania and just ahead of Nebraska, Missouri and Idaho. Top-ranked states were Massachusetts, California, Washington, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland.

In previous years, Wisconsin’s highest rank overall was 29th and once stood as low as 37th among the 50 states. Here is how Wisconsin ranked in 2017 in individual categories tracked by the independent, non-profit foundation.

  • Information technology jobs: 12
  • Managerial, professional and technical jobs: 30
  • Workforce education: 26
  • Immigration of knowledge workers: 27
  • Internal migration of U.S. knowledge workers: 26
  • Manufacturing value-added: 27
  • High-wage traded services: 22
  • Foreign direct investment: 43
  • Export focus of manufacturing: 38
  • High-tech exports: 22
  • Business churning: 38
  • Fast-growing firms: 31
  • Initial public offerings: 31
  • Inventor patents: 26
  • Online agriculture: 22
  • eGovernment: 6
  • Broadband telecommunications: 11
  • Health IT: 26
  • High-tech jobs: 20
  • Scientists and engineers: 16
  • Patents: 27
  • Industry investment in R&D: 18
  • Non-industry investment in R&D: 19
  • Movement toward a ‘green’ economy: 45
  • Venture capital: 27

These indicators were part of five broader categories: Knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism, the digital economy and innovation capacity. Wisconsin ranked 26th, 41st, 35th, 9th and 27th, respectively, in those five major groupings.

“The report shows Wisconsin making important strides in the laying the foundation for a stronger digital economy, although much work remains in terms of making Wisconsin more global in its business and industry outlook,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Based in Washington, D.C., ITIF was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania as the top science and technology “think tank” in the United States and second in the world.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, non-profit science and technology advisor to the governor and the Legislature. Its programs and projects are aimed at spurring growth in Wisconsin’s tech-based economy.