It’s good news for area science, technology, engineering and mathematics students getting ready to look for work.

Colorado is the 6th most innovative state in the U.S., according to WalletHub’s report on 2018’s Most and Least Innovative States released Wednesday.

“We hope that our report will assist young STEM graduates looking to settle down and find a job,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an email. “Perhaps if they know which states invest most in innovation, their search might be streamlined.”

The state’s sixth-place ranking was influenced by its ability to attract and retain residents with good economic opportunities, Gonzalez said.

“Colorado ranked 6th overall, which is a great result,” she said. “This high rank is due to several positive outcomes. For instance, the share of science and engineering and related fields Graduates is 46.5 percent, which is the 9th highest, and the net migration per 1,000 residents is 7.6, which is the 4th highest.”

The projected STEM-job demand by 2020 in Colorado is 5.83 percent, which the state ranked 6th compared to other states, Gonzalez said.

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“Innovation is a principal driver of economic growth in the U.S.,” she said. “WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia in order to give credit to the states that have contributed the most to America’s innovative success.”

The report was created in conjunction with academic experts, Gonzalez said.

“Based on their feedback, our team of analysts developed the report’s methodology,” she said. “The whole process took six weeks and was finished right before it was released.”

The data was collected from mostly government sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation, National Center for Education Statistics, United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Colorado was ranked first in eighth-grade math and science performance in the report because the state’s overall eighth-grade math scores, Gonzalez said.

The state also came in fourth in share of technology companies, according to the report.

“The U.S. is projected to spend $553 billion on research and development in 2018,” Gonzalez said. “Furthermore, multiple cities strive to become the location of Amazon’s HQ2. These two considerations were our main drivers when we chose to conduct this report.”

WalletHub is owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. and is based in Washington, DC., according to its website.

To read the report on 2018’s Most and Least Innovative States online, visit wallethub.com.