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DC drops to #4 most diverse US city in STEM, after holding the top spot last year

Despite the slip in 2020, D.C. still ranks the best for gender diversity in SmartAsset's study, and shows the highest percentage of Black STEM professionals.

The District needs more STEM professionals. (Photo by Pixabay user Free-Photos, used under a Creative Commons license)

In what’s shaping up to be a historic year of uncertainty, D.C.’s title for most diverse STEM workforce has slipped.

After dropping to #2 for the best place to be for women in tech, the District has also fallen to #4 for overall diversity in STEM, according to a fifth annual study from SmartAsset. The personal finance company surveyed the demographics of STEM workforces in 35 tech hubs across the U.S. D.C. topped the list last year, showing the most racial, ethnic and gender diversity in its tech workforce.

D.C. has 49,100 total STEM workers. Here are some other key metrics:

  • 62% are men
  • 57% are white
  • 24% are Black
  • 10% are Hispanic or Latinx
  • Less than 5% are Asian

Despite the major drop from last year, D.C. shows the highest percentage of Black STEM professionals, and ranks the best for gender diversity in the 2020 study. Still, only 38% of the STEM workforce are women this year, falling from 43% in 2019, which was the highest representation of women in the study last year.

Even though D.C. remained in the top five best cities for diversity in STEM, we’ll especially be looking to see how the District stacks up in 2021 after such a pivotal year for tech professionals, many of whom have been focused on upskilling in the region.

Oakland took over the top spot in the study and is also a new entrant to the list, indicating a growing and diverse STEM workforce in California, despite Sacramento and San Diego falling from the top 10.

Here’s a look at the top 10 cities for diversity in STEM in 2020:

(Image via SmartAsset’s Best Cities for Diversity in STEM — 2020 Edition study)


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