Maryland has the highest concentration of technical workers of any state in the U.S., while Mississippi has the lowest, according to data from the annual American Community Survey (ACS) released this fall.
The term "technical workers" counts those employed in a computer, engineering or science job as a portion of the overall adult civilian workforce.
Other states with high portions of tech workers after Maryland at 8.6% are: Virginia 8.0%, Washington state 7.5%, Massachusetts 7.3% and Colorado 7.0%. The U.S. average is 5.2%. Washington, D.C., came in at 9.6% with a 1.0% margin of error.
The relatively high numbers of tech workers in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia can likely be explained by the strong presence of federal agencies. Some of the government's most tech-focused operations are based in Maryland, including the National Security Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Virginia's high rank is probably due in part to the CIA's offices there and the large number of private contractors and tech firms that provide services to defense and intelligence agencies.
In metropolitan areas where the margin of error was 1% or lower, Silicon Valley's San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest level of tech workers at 16.3%, followed by Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., at 11.9%; and Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass., at 11.5%. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash., tied with the Washington, D.C., metro area at 11.1%.
The 2010 ACS was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau but is separate from the nationwide census of all households that takes place every 10 years. The annual ACS has responses from approximately 2 million U.S. households.
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