Useful Stats: Business R&D Intensity by State (2010-2015)

March 22, 2018

Across the country, companies reported nearly $300 billion in self-funded and self-performed domestic R&D in 2015, according to recent data from the National Science Foundation’s Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS), with nearly one-third of this total ($95.0 billion) coming from California. Businesses in Wyoming, Washington D.C., and Utah reported the greatest increase in self-funded and self-performed R&D from 2010 to 2015.

The update of the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) comes from the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. The data is a primary source of information on business domestic and global research and development expenditures. Since the previous Digest article on business R&D, NSF has made data available for both 2014 and 2015.

This article focuses only on domestic R&D that is paid for and performed by a company. For three states – Alaska, Delaware, and Missouri – data is suppressed in 2010 to avoid disclosure of confidential information. In these instances, the midpoint value between the 2009 and 2011 data is used.

The median amount of domestic R&D businesses paid for and performed was $1.9 billion in 2015. The states where businesses paid for and performed the most R&D in 2015 were California ($95.0 billion), Massachusetts ($17.7 billion), Washington ($16.3 billion), Michigan ($15.6 billion), Texas ($14.8 billion), and New York ($11.9 billion). That year, the five states where businesses  paid for and performed the lowest amount of R&D were Alaska ($32 million), South Dakota ($115 million), Hawaii ($123 million), Wyoming ($137 million), and West Virginia ($158 million).

From 2010 to 2015, 11 states experienced a decline in self-funded and self-performed business R&D. The states where businesses reported the largest declines in self-funded and self-performed R&D between 2010 and 2015 were Nevada (49.1 percent decrease), Alaska (36.0 percent decrease), Hawaii (28.9 percent decrease), Vermont (26.6 percent decrease), and West Virginia (17.3 percent decrease). Wyoming (328.1 percent increase), Washington D.C. (135.7 percent increase), Utah (89.2 percent increase), California (78.2 percent increase), and Montana (62.6 percent increase) experienced the largest rise in self-funded and self-performed business R&D during that period.

SSTI has assembled the data on business R&D expenditures from 2010 to 2015, which is viewable in the chart below and available to download. Later this month, the Digest will explore how private R&D intensity – as measured by business R&D expenditures as a share of Gross State Product – changed from 2010 to 2015.



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