9 of 10
9. Washington

Residents with advanced degrees: 10.8% of population
Residents with some college education: 64.4%

Seattle's local businesses include coffee chain Starbucks, e-commerce giant Amazon and software Goliath Microsoft. The region also houses a huge production facility for Boeing.

But the Pacific Northwest state is trying to push beyond its traditional image: "We are a lot more than coffee and airplanes and software," said Egils Milbergs, executive director at the Washington Economic Development Commission.

"We do a very good job in terms of research and development, patent development," he says. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, headquartered in Seattle, is supporting its own network of new research, especially around global health initiatives such as wiping out diseases like malaria and polio.

Washington's highly regarded research universities draw smart people -- but the mountains and lakes are what keep them.

"The quality of life out here is great," Milbergs says. "Things are a little bit more relaxed, I would say, than the East Coast -- work, family, leisure, that sort of thing."

NEXT: New Jersey
Source: Workforce education rankings are from the Kauffman Foundation's 2010 State New Economy Index. Using U.S. Census Data, Kauffman created a weighted score reflecting four different education-level statistics for each state: the percentage of the population (age 25 and older) that has less than a high-school degree, some college, a Bachelor's degree, or a Master's or professional degree. The organization's state-by-state rankings reflect those weighted scores.
LAST UPDATE: Feb 24 2011 | 3:10 PM ET
8 great cities to start a business From mega tax breaks to innovative business incubators, these places offer compelling incentives. More
I started a business in paradise!From an event planner in Puerto Vallarta to a surfing school in Costa Rica, these businesses launched in dream spots. More
5 most inventive states These states are innovating up a storm, generating the most independent inventor patents per capita. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.