Salt Lake City ranks eighth among the country's "most innovative" regions, according to Visa's Innovation Index.
Seattle was ranked at the top, followed by Austin, Texas; Nashville; Minneapolis; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; Indianapolis; Salt Lake City; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Cincinnati.
The rankings were based on a combined score of categories for "community," "entrepreneur" and "self-expression." Community support variables were based on U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics data regarding the percentage of people employed by social organizations and the number of volunteers in the top 50 U.S. metro areas. The research also examined the percentage of adults employed in occupations that are classified as "creative," such as artists, musicians, architects, designers and writers. Entrepreneurship was evaluated on data such as the average number of new businesses, expansions, new divisions and the number of new patents issued by the U.S. Patent Office through 2003.
Salt Lake was ranked eighth in the entrepreneur category, which was led by Austin. Providence, R.I., topped the community listings, with Salt Lake 20th. Utah's capital was 19th in the self-expression category, led by Los Angeles.