Grand Rapids is 26th ‘best metro’ for STEM pros


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A new report ranks Grand Rapids as the 26th “best metro” in the U.S. for STEM professionals.

Grand Rapids appears in the ranking of 2018’s “Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals,”  which was published yesterday by WalletHub, a personal-finance website.

Detroit ranks 65th.

STEM workers — those in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — earn an average annual wage of $87,570, nearly double the average earnings of $45,700 for all non-STEM jobs in the U.S., according to WalletHub.


To determine the best markets for STEM workers, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest metro areas across 17 key metrics. The data set ranges from per-capita job openings for STEM graduates to annual median wage growth for STEM workers.

The ranking also considered factors such as housing affordability, research and development spending intensity and distribution of men versus women in STEM fields.

National highlights

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has the most job openings per capita for STEM graduates, 108.56, while Deltona, Florida has the fewest at 2.69.

San Jose, California has the highest share of all workers in STEM occupations per capita, 21.9 percent. McAllen, Texas has the lowest at 1.7 percent.

Washington, D.C. has the highest projected number of STEM jobs per capita needed by 2020, 14.86 percent, and Las Vegas has the lowest at 1.08 percent.

Houston has the highest annual median wage for STEM workers (adjusted by cost of living), $95,187, while Honolulu is at the low end with $41,249.

Dayton, Ohio has the highest housing-affordability index for STEM professionals, 11.40 percent, and Honolulu is the metro area with the lowest, at 24.24 percent.

Top 10 metros for STEM professionals

1.   Seattle
2.   Boston
3.   Pittsburgh
4.   Austin, Texas
5.   Minneapolis
6.   Madison, Wisconsin
7.   Salt Lake City
8.   Springfield, Massachusetts
9.   Chicago
10. Atlanta

Bottom 10 metros for STEM professionals

91.   Stockton, California
92.   Oxnard, California
93.   McAllen, Texas
94.   Lakeland, Florida
95.   Deltona, Florida
96.   Little Rock, Arkansas
97.   Cape Coral, Florida
98.   Memphis, Tennessee
99.   North Port, Florida
100. Jackson, Mississippi

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