APS News

February 2000 (Volume 9, Number 2)

US R&D Spending Trends

Last fall the National Science Foundation's Division of Science Resource Studies issued a Data Brief with some interesting numbers on R&D spending in the US. Note that these numbers combine all R&D disciplines and that the physical sciences have fared less well than the biological and medical areas for many years. A few selections are featured below. The full report, R&D as a Percentage of GDP Continues Upward Climb, by Steven Payson, can be found online at http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs.

WHAT ALL SECTORS IN US ARE SPENDING ON R&D:

  • $247 billion, projected total 1999 R&D expenditures

INCREASE IN TOTAL R&D SPENDING:

  • 6.8%: average rate of annual increase in total R&D expenditures from 1980 to 1985
  • 2.1%: average rate of annual increases in total R&D expenditures from 1985 to 1990
  • 1.0%: average rate of annual increases in total R&D expenditures from 1990 to 1995
  • 6.1%: average rate of annual increases in total R&D expenditures from 1995 to 1999
  • 7.2%: average rate of annual increases in total R&D expenditures from 1998 to 1999

HOW R&D SPENDING COMPARES TO GDP:

  • 2.79%: R&D as a share of the 1999 GDP, the highest percentage since 1967
  • 2.67%: R&D as a share of the 1998 GDP
  • 2.61%: R&D as a share of the 1997 GDP
  • 2.87%: Highest R&D/GDP ratio in US history, in 1953

HOW R&D FUNDING IS SPENT:

  • 16.3%: share of projected 1999 R&D for basic research
  • 22.9%: share of projected 1999 R&D for applied research
  • 60.9%: share of projected 1999 R&D for development

WHO SUPPORTED R&D in 1999:

  • 68.5%: share supported by industry
  • 26.7%: share supported by the federal government, lowest since 1953, when data was collected

-Item courtesy of Richard Jones, AIP Public Information


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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette

February 2000 (Volume 9, Number 2)

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Articles in this Issue
Chodos is New Associate Executive Officer
Man of the Century
APS Career Efforts Focus on Physics Departments
Mass Media Fellow Learns "Nuts and Bolts" of Journalism
Outreach and Community Service I
In the Journals
APS and BNL Host XXX e-Print Archive Mirror
In Brief
Poll Reveals All-Star Physicists
Cosmic CD Available at Last!
US R&D Spending Trends
Exploring "Who Did It?" with Forensic Science
Cornell "Nanoharp" Studies Vibrating Materials at High Frequencies
Viewpoint
Letters
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
Inside the Beltway: A Washington Analysis
The Back Page