Ten Cities Drive New England’s Digital Economy

Ten cities, mainly inside the famous Route 128 belt around Boston, dominate New England’s digital economy, according to a survey released today by MITX, the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange.

With more than four-fifths of the total number of employees, Massachusetts dominates the digital marketing, media, and technology industry in New England, the report said. In the three top cities, Boston, Cambridge, and Waltham, around 41,000 persons are employed in the sector. Most of the rest of the industry is concentrated to seven other cities.

All told, MITX has identified 2,877 New England companies in the digital marketing, media and technology industry. Taken together, these companies bring in $29 billion in annual revenues and employ 93,000 persons. At least, that was the picture when the survey was taken this spring. But judging from the companies’ growth expectations, the figures are probably getting higher day by day, even with the national economy in a downturn. When MITX asked its members for their views of the future, only 5 percent of respondents foresaw a negative impact on their growth from the current economy. More than half predicted a significant increase during the next three years.

“The economic impact these companies have on the local economy is much greater than people think,” said MITX executive director Kiki Mills in a statement. “We always hear about Massachusetts as the hub for biotechnology; however New England’s digital business sector is leading in employment and driving innovation on a global scale.”

New England’s Top Digital Cities (all in Massachusetts except where noted):

Nashua, NH

Erik Mellgren is a Swedish journalist who worked for Xconomy Boston in 2008 as part of the Stanford Innovation Journalism Fellowship program. His real job is with Ny Teknik, a leading technology and innovation magazine in Sweden, but he loved seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. Follow @

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