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Where Science and Engineering Careers Happen

Maybe it is the cool summers of Houston, the easy-breezy commuting in coastal California that lures researchers, or the quiet life of reflection to be found in New York City — or perhaps not — but, whatever the reason, these areas are hubs that are home to the most people working in science and engineering in the US, according to a new National Science Foundation report.

The US had 5.7 million people working in S&E in 2011, when NSF did its study, and more than one-fourth of them worked in California, Texas, and New York. A full 10 percent of these workers could be found in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and near New York City and Houston.

This may be news for Californians, Texans, and New Yorkers to boast about, but these also are the three most populous states, and they actually have lower shares of their residents working in S&E than several other states.

In terms of the intensity of S&E employment, or the share of a population working in these fields, the non-state District of Columbia topped the list, followed by Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, and Washington.

Most of these S&E workers, around 3.1 million, were involved in computer or mathematical sciences, while around 259,000 were involved in the life sciences, including biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences, NSF found.
The regions with the most life sciences workers were Boston (8,200), Montgomery County, Md. (8,100), New York City (6,700), San Diego (6,600), and Los Angeles (6,200).