Up and Coming Tech Hubs in the U.S.

Our team conducted a deep dive on data from the U.S. patents database and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify tech hubs throughout the U.S.
Successful startups tend to cluster around major tech hubs

As technology continues to improve and become more intertwined with everyday life, certain areas become more rooted in the business of technology than others. One obvious example is Silicon Valley, an area that breeds tech start-ups and unicorn ventures on a seemingly daily basis. However, what other areas of the country are following the mold of Silicon Valley? We took tech patent activity in the United States and other factors to identify the biggest up and coming tech hubs.

A graphic of the top ten surprising tech hubs that we identified.

Top Up and Coming Tech Hubs

In order to identify up and coming tech hubs, we derived our own ranking system based on U.S. patent filing data and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) dating back to 2012. We excluded areas that are already well known as major tech hubs, such as Silicon Valley and New York. We also excluded areas where a single corporations dominated the patents filed.

  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

    • Total Patents Filed: 810
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 3.10
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

    • Total Patents Filed: 2,458
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.92
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

    • Total Patents Filed: 2,409
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.36
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

    • Total Patents Filed: 1,447
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.29
  • Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

    • Total Patents Filed: 528
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 2.16
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

    • Total Patents Filed: 673
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.39
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

    • Total Patents Filed: 977
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.06
  • Boulder, CO

    • Total Patents Filed: 139
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 3.43
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

    • Total Patents Filed: 797
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.03
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

    • Total Patents Filed: 404
    • Tech Jobs Location Quotient: 1.44

See Where Your Area Ranks

We compiled a view of the top 100 tech hubs in the U.S.

RankCityTotal Patents FiledLocation Quotient
1Mountain View, CA50767.99
2San Jose, CA27567.99
3Santa Clara, CA20617.99
4Cupertino, CA14997.99
5Sunnyvale, CA13557.99
6Palo Alto, CA12047.99
7Cambridge, MA13413.4
8Redmond, WA38022.48
9San Francisco, CA23902.48
10Seattle, WA14552.48
11Boston, MA6633.4
12Bedford, MA6453.4
13Menlo Park, CA11682.48
14Bellevue, WA6122.48
15Austin, TX6002.52
16Washington, DC5203.1
17Atlanta, GA28051.45
18San Diego, CA21721.92
19Redwood City, CA4762.48
20Milpitas, CA2737.99
21San Mateo, CA4302.48
22Waltham, MA2903.4
23Norwalk, CT6731.39
24Hopkinton, MA2583.4
25Oakland, CA2862.48
26Los Gatos, CA1857.99
27Dearborn, MI7251.29
28Irvine, CA5271.36
29Armonk, NY49700.84
30Burlington, MA1973.4
31Los Angeles, CA4401.36
32Redwood Shores, CA2282.48
33Chicago, IL8041.01
34Fremont, CA2072.48
35Wilmington, DE6151.06
36Culver City, CA3571.36
37New York, NY13250.84
38Detroit, MI4271.29
39Carlsbad, CA2861.92
40Burbank, CA3121.36
41Bethesda, MD1713.1
42Boulder, CO1393.43
43Rochester, NY2641.63
44Houston, TX7530.68
45South San Francisco, CA1572.48
46Auburn Hills, MI2951.29
47Beaverton, OR6640.7
48Plano, TX4241.03
49Philadelphia, PA3621.06
50Round Rock, TX1492.52
51San Carlos, CA1512.48
52Dallas, TX3731.03
53Cary, NC1902.16
54Los Altos, CA1127.99
55Torrance, CA2441.36
56Fort Mill, SC3121.06
57Baltimore, MD1912.12
58Raleigh, NC1832.16
59Munich, DE3850.84
60Basking Ridge, NJ3780.84
61Pasadena, CA2091.36
62Minneapolis, MN2611.17
63Durham, NC1552.16
64Ann Arbor, MI1542.44
65Reno, NV6040.19
66Charlotte, NC2461.06
67Malibu, CA1811.36
68Scottsdale, AZ1681.44
69Reston, VA1193.1
70Schenectady, NY3390.62
71St. Paul, MN1931.17
72Denver, CO1352.14
73Cincinnati, OH3350.43
74Las Vegas, NV3440.3
75Pittsburgh, PA2690.68
76Goleta, CA1232.38
77Princeton, NJ1791.12
78Bloomington, IL2450.79
79Erlanger, KY2770.43
80City of Industry, CA1391.19
81Tinton Falls, NJ1840.84
82Phoenix, AZ1141.44
83Madison, WI1361.13
84Tempe, AZ1221.44
85Cleveland, OH2240.37
86Nashville, TN1350.95
87Lake Mary, FL1341.01
88San Antonio, TX1720.5
89Northbrook, IL1141.14
90Tampa, FL1260.87
91St. Louis, MO1230.86
92Urbana, IL1141.01
93Peoria, IL1360.27
94Fort Lauderdale, FL1290.53
95Albuquerque, NM1161
96Miami, FL1250.53
97Morris Plains, NJ1110.84
98George Town, KY1300.47
99Watertown, MA1273.41
100Mayfield Heights, OH1150.37

Areas With the Biggest Tech Job Growth

We also took note of any key areas where tech jobs boomed within the past four years. In order to measure this, we focused on the location quotient of tech-related jobs. A higher location quotient means a larger percentage of jobs in a given area are tech-related. These are the areas with the most prominent increases since 2014.

  • Trenton-Ewing, NJ

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 290%

  • Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 267%

  • Albuquerque, NM

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 215%

  • Las Cruces, NM

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 196%

  • Palm Coast, FL

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 160%

  • Las Vegas-Paradise, NV

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 159%

  • Reno-Sparks, NV

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 158%

  • Wichita, KS

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 140%

  • Binghamton, NY

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 137%

  • Rockford, IL

    Tech Jobs Location Quotient Growth: 136%


We analyzed data from both the U.S. Patent database and the BLS to identify both signs of technological innovation and high concentrations of tech related jobs. We specifically focused on the number of patents filed for artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles, blockchain, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, and 3D printing, and the location quotients of various areas for technology related jobs. Location quotients are a metric used by the BLS to identify employment trends relative to the national average.

Also, we excluded hubs that we felt are already well known. The following were discounted from our consideration of top up and coming tech hubs:

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  • Austin-Round Rock, TX
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

We also organized our data by city and MSA as the data shows that tech hubs are not usually confined within individual city limits, and can often contain multiple cities.

Justin is a Sr. Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, focusing on small business lending. He was a corporate strategy associate at IBM.