Grand Rapids ranks as 47th best metro for STEM workers

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A new report found greater Grand Rapids is climbing the ranks of the top metro areas for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Personal finance website Wallethub on Wednesday, Jan. 19, published a ranking of 2022’s Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals, and Grand Rapids was listed at No. 47 out of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, up from 49th in last year’s report on the same topic.

According to a review of the list by the Business Journal, Grand Rapids ranked seventh-best for STEM professionals among cities with a similar population size, behind Salt Lake City; Worcester, Massachusetts; Rochester, New York; Des Moines, Iowa; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Spokane, Washington.

To determine the best markets for STEM workers, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest metro areas in the U.S. across three dimensions — professional opportunities, STEM-friendliness and quality of life — using 19 key metrics, including number of best engineering schools, math performance, per-capita job openings for STEM graduates, median wage growth for STEM jobs, housing affordability, and the recreation- and family-friendliness of the area.

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for STEM professionals.

Wallethub determined each metro area’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank order the sample.

Grand Rapids was ranked 52nd for professional opportunities, 65th for STEM-friendliness and 31st for quality of life, with a total score of 46.47.

The full report is online.

Top 10 metros for STEM professionals

  1. Seattle
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Boston
  4. Madison, Wisconsin
  5. Minneapolis
  6. Atlanta
  7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  8. San Francisco
  9. Salt Lake City
  10. Orlando, Florida

Bottom 10 metros for STEM professionals

  1. Detroit
  2. Provo, Utah
  3. Bridgeport, Connecticut
  4. Toledo, Ohio
  5. North Port, Florida
  6. Memphis, Tennessee
  7. Little Rock, Arkansas
  8. Cape Coral, Florida
  9. Deltona, Florida
  10. Jackson, Mississippi

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