Metro Denver EDC releases annual competitiveness report

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation put out it’s 8th edition. Click here for the full article. If you have a hard time sleeping at night, click here to read all 358 pages Denver Economic Report ! Below are some highlights.

Colorado’s Strengths:

  • Eighth highest for its economic outlook.
  • Among the top-10 states for employment growth (ninth – up from 40th during 2009-2010).
  • The third-most highly educated state in the nation; 36.7 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher (first, Massachusetts – 39.1 percent; second, Maryland – 36.9 percent)
  • Continues to post strong population growth, ranking as the fourth-fastest growing state in 2011.
  • Top-10 rankings for fourth-grade and eighth-grade reading proficiency and continues to rank first for highest ACT and SAT scores.
  • Posts dominant rankings in key innovation measures:
    o Venture capital investments (third)
    o Initial Public Offerings (fifth)
    o Small Business Innovation Research grants (third)
    o High-tech employment (third highest), high-tech wage (seventh)
    o NASA Prime Contract Awards (fourth)
    o Entrepreneurial Activity Index (fourth)
    o Proprietors as a percentage of total employees (fourth)
  • Maintains top-10 positions in major health and wellness rankings
    oObesity rate (lowest in nation)
    oPrescriptions filled (third lowest)
    oHeart disease deaths (third lowest)
    oCancer and diabetes deaths (fourth lowest)
    oOverall well-being (sixth highest)

Colorado’s Challenges:

  • Transportation funding represented just 5.4 percent of the state’s budget in 2011, down from 5.7 percent last year. Transportation funding represented 12.7 percent of the total budget in 1980.
  • Colorado’s tax structure competitiveness has gravitated away from very favorable to ranking closer to the middle among the 50 the states.
  • Colorado posts unfavorable rankings in K-12 education:
    o Pre-K resources (fourth lowest)
    o K-12 expenditures per student (20th lowest)
    o Student/teacher ratio (eighth highest ratio)
  • Colorado’s funding for higher education is at a critical crossroads:
    o State and local support per full-time student (third lowest, down from fourth lowest last year)
    o State and local support per capita (second lowest)
    o High school graduates entering in-state college/universities within 12 months of graduation (34th highest)
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