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Press Release 14-108

2011 data show U.S. business R&D highly concentrated by state and metropolitan location

Companies in five states paid for nearly half of R&D performed in 2011

U.S. 3-d map and test tubes

Report accounts for R&D performed by companies in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia.
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August 26, 2014

According to a new National Science Foundation (NSF) report, nearly half of the research and development (R&D) paid for and performed by companies in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia in 2011 was performed in five states: California, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Overall, companies performed $239 billion in R&D paid for by their own company expenses in the U.S. in 2011. Large companies performed the largest amount of research and development at their primary R&D locations in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, and Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical areas (CSA). These are groupings of neighboring, geographic metropolitan regions.

R&D industries represented in these areas vary, with San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland dominated by computer and electronic products manufacturers and Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia dominated by information technology and aerospace companies. Although the Los Angeles-Long Beach CSA is home to many large-R&D companies, no single industry accounts for a disproportionately large share of its R&D performance.

The findings come from NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics 2011 Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS). BRDIS allows policymakers and industry officials to gain information about worldwide R&D expenses, R&D expenses by detailed business segments and the location by industry of where the R&D is performed along with other important data.

For more information on this report, please visit NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485,

Program Contacts
Raymond M. Wolfe, NSF, (703) 292-7789,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Chart showing R&D spending by location
San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland is one of the top areas for R&D performance in the United States.
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