A comparison of state real GDP against utility patents
Continuing our recent practice of comparing utility patents against economic data, let's turn our attention toward state real GDP. By creating a scatterplot of utility patents by GDP, we find the sort of trend line we would expect to find: higher state GDP is correlated with greater patent production.
We immediately learn something from this scatterplot: California is absolutely dominant by both measure, as having by far the largest GDP and largest patent production of all states. This, unfortunately, skews the results, and makes the scatterplot difficult to navigate in the lower-left portion. While recognizing its achievement, let's exclude California from the scatterplot to remove the outlier. Click on California's node, then click 'Exclude.' The visualization will update, placing Texas and New York in the upper-right, and making the scatterplot somewhat more readable.
From here, let's move on to the two bar graphs below. The first depicts raw state GDP, descending, while the second depicts state GDP per patent, descending. The State GDP per patent calculation offers a sense of which state economies are driven largely by patent production (that is, those states on the right end of the bar graph), and which state economics are driven by other factors. Alaska, for example, is a close second to Washington DC for this measure, which makes sense, given that Alaska's economy is largely driven by natural resouces (oil and mining). As is typical with these patent analyses, we again find ourselves talking about Idaho, which represents the bottom of the state GDP per patent (when aggregating all years, thoughfor recent years that honor goes to Vermont), owing to its extremely high patent production rate for its population.
The natural next step of analysis is a look at the GDP breakdown per state, either generally through exploring outliers and why they lie outward, or through digging into a particular state of interest (perhaps because you live there). What does the GDP breakdown look like for outliers like Louisiana, Florida or Minnesota? What kind of subtleties should we be thinking about for a measure like state GDP per patent?
PTMT - Extended Year Set - Patent Counts by Country, State, and Year - Utility Patents (December 2015)
BEA - Annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State - NAICS Real GDP