In terms of absolute numbers, R&D personnel tend to cluster on the coasts, while large research universities harbor principal investigators. Five of the 10 metropolitan areas with the most HERD personnel are in the Northeast, led by New York (40,349), Boston (34,562), and Baltimore (30,414). Other metros with a high number of personnel include Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, and Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, five of the 10 universities with the most principal investigators are in the Midwest, led by Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio State. Other universities ranking in the top 10 of total principal investigators include Johns Hopkins, Texas A&M, Colorado State, Washington, and UCLA.
In many regions outside of the coasts – including traditional college towns and formerly industrial metros — R&D personnel make up a large share of the workforce. The map below shows R&D personnel per 10,000 state and metropolitan residents. R&D personnel make up the largest share of total employment in the State College, Pennsylvania (2,677 personnel per 10,000 total workers); Ithaca, New York (2,023 personnel); and Ames, Iowa (1,771 personnel) metropolitan areas. Of the largest 100 metropolitan areas, R&D personnel make up the largest share of total employment in Durham (707 personnel per 10,000 total employees), Madison (546 personnel), and Spokane (288 personnel). Several large regions known for their industrial history also rank highly for their R&D personnel per capita, including Pittsburgh(135 personnel per 10,000 total employees), Rochester (123 personnel), Birmingham (112 personnel), and Buffalo (103 personnel).