A new database produced by the Population Reference Bureau of the U.S. Census Bureau provides insights into the geographic differences in the characteristics of people working in the science and engineering (S&E) labor force in the United States. The data, from the Census Bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey, highlight state differences in earnings, education, and the participation of minorities, women, and foreign-born workers in the high-tech economy.

Selected findings from this data include:

-Nationwide, there were 7.4 million scientists and engineers in the United States in 2005, representing 5 percent of the total labor force.

-In 2005, states with the highest proportions of scientists and engineers were Maryland (8 percent), Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington (7 percent each).

-The median annual earnings for people in S&E occupations were $59,000, compared with $28,000 for people in all occupations nationwide. Maryland and New Jersey had the highest median science and engineering earnings, at $70,000 each.

Detailed estimates of scientists and engineers for states are available on the PRB website at http://www.prb.org/Articles/2007/NewDatabaseRevealsStateVariations.aspx.


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