Many U.S. states depend on software more than California does: report

Many U.S. states depend on software more than California does: report

California’s economy is said to be unduly dependent on the software industry but few people know that a number of other states depend more on software to maintain the health of their economies.

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit & software trade group BSA has revealed that companies like Google and Apple make up just 4 per cent of California’s gross domestic product (GDP). While that percentage is significant for a single industry, it lags notably behind many other states like Washington, Massachusetts and Virginia.

The report also revealed that states like Washington are not only ahead of California in terms of software jobs. Washington, Vermont and Nebraska are also ahead of California in terms of software-related research & development (R&D). More than 40 per cent of total R&D investment in those three states comes from software companies.

BSA chief executive Victoria Espinel said, “The data clearly demonstrate that the positive impact that software companies are having is not just in a handful of states as is commonly believed, but across the United States as a whole … it’s much broader than the picture of software that existed 10 years ago.”

Most people are familiar with the software giants like Google and Apple, but they don’t know that even less-known companies are significant economic drivers. In Virginia, software firms proliferated to serve the government’s digital needs. For instance, CSRA provides IT services for a range of government contracts.

Overall, the BSA study found that software industry directly employed 2.5 million people in the U.S. as of 2014, adding more than $1 trillion to the economy either directly or indirectly.