Useful Stats: 50 State Table Reveals University R&D Change Over Five Years

December 14, 2016
By: Robert Ksiazkiewicz

Nearly half of the U.S. states and the District of Columbia saw a 10 percent or greater increase in higher education R&D expenditures from FY 2010 to FY 2015 with five of those states (Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Utah) seeing at least a 20 percent change, according to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey for 2015. Between FY10-15 overall U.S. research and development (R&D) spending at U.S. universities grew 12.1 percent, from about $61.2 billion to $68.7 billion. 

California remained the leader in university R&D spending, but spending in the state grew at a slightly lower rate over the five years (10.5 percent) than the national average. More than half of the other top 20 states experienced gains that exceeded the national average of 12.1 percent. While the majority of states saw significant (greater than national average) to moderate (5 to 10 percent growth) increase in higher education R&D expenditures from FY10 to FY15, 11 states reported a decrease in higher education R&D expenditures – all of which are eligible for Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) funding.

From FY14 to FY15, the percent growth was much slower across the board with 17 states reporting a decline in university R&D expenditures. Dragged down by states with negative increases, overall university R&D spending in the U.S. increased by just 2.2 percent from FY14 to FY15 with only 21 states exceeding the national average. SSTI has prepared a table, based on the NSF HERD data, Higher education R&D expenditures, by state: FYs 2010–15 with Percent Change. 

(Source National Science Foundation https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17303/)

SSTI will be exploring the data in more depth in coming weeks.  Check back with the Digest for future stories.

useful stats, higher ed, r&d