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General Science and Engineering Indicators
R&D Investment Patterns
R&D Investment by Selected Country
Academic R&D Investment by Selected Country and S&E Field
U.S. R&D Investment by Selected Source of Support
U.S. R&D Investment by Selected Performing Sector
U.S. R&D Investment by Federal Budget Function
U.S. Federal Research Investment by Selected Agency and S&E Field
S&E Workforce Development
Knowledge Output

Selected Education Indicators
High School Completion Patterns
High School Teachers
Higher Education Enrollments

Selected Global Marketplace Indicators

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U.S. R&D investment totaled nearly $293 billion in 2000 constant dollars (or $340 billion in current dollars), more than any other nation and more than all other G7 countries combined.

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Why is this indicator important?

  • One measure of a nation's level of commitment to innovation is the amount of money invested in R&D activities by all sectors.

Key Observations

  • The United States has led all nations in R&D expenditures for the past two decades. There has been a steady increase of R&D expenditures for the United States over time, with a rate comparable to that of Japan and exceeding all others except for the recent acceleration of China.
  • After a worldwide slowing in R&D expenditures in the early 1990s, R&D spending rebounded in the late 1990s in several G7 countries, with the United States experiencing the most robust growth.

Related Discussion

  • The United States ranks second among G7 countries in the share of gross domestic product (GDP) devoted to R&D. (See Figure 17 in this Digest for details.)
  • When adjusting to factor-in the lower costs of performing R&D in the developing world (using Purchasing Power Parity values, PPP), China is approximately the third largest R&D performer in the world after the US and Japan. (SEI 2008 Appendix Table 4-2, Figure 4-15; UIS).