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Useful Stats: NIH Awards by State, 2007-2016

August 03, 2017

With a focus on improving health, driving economic growth, and expanding the country’s research capacity, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. Because of NIH’s central role in supporting science, technology, and innovation, a better understanding of the agency’s footprint may be helpful to the technology-based economic development practitioner community. This edition of Useful Stats utilizes data from NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) and covers each year from 2007 to 2016. The data does not include projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

NIH awarded $24.6 billion in funds to the 50 states and the District of Columbia during 2016, a 4.5 percent increase from 2012, and a 6.4 percent increase from 2007. Of the total amount awarded in 2016, roughly two-thirds (66.1 percent) went to the top 10 states. This share is slightly lower than the 66.7 percent going to the top 10 states in 2012 and the 66.3 percent going to the top 10 states in 2007. In a typical year, the funding mechanisms for the vast majority of NIH awards come through research project grants, research center grants, and R&D contracts.

The states that were awarded the most funding from NIH in 2016 were California ($3.7 billion), Massachusetts ($2.6 billion), New York ($2.2 billion), Pennsylvania ($1.6 billion), Maryland ($1.5 billion), and North Carolina ($1.2 billion). The states receiving the least amount in that year were Wyoming ($9.5 million), Idaho ($14.1 million), Alaska ($14.6 million), South Dakota ($21.6 million), and North Dakota ($22.5 million). As the map below shows, NIH awards were particularly concentrated on the coasts and in the Midwest. By comparison, states in the Mountain West region were awarded relatively few dollars.

Over the 10 year period from 2007-2016, Arkansas (59.4 percent), Delaware (57.2 percent), Florida (45.7 percent), Nebraska (44.4 percent), and Nevada (41.4 percent) experienced the largest growth in NIH award funding. New Jersey (-27.6 percent), Vermont (-27.5 percent), New Mexico (-25.5 percent), Hawaii (-23.6 percent), and Iowa (-17.6 percent) saw their award funding from NIH decrease the most during that period.

In the first half of the decade (2007-2011), the states that saw their NIH funding levels grow the most were Florida (35 percent), Maryland (24.9 percent), Georgia (20.1 percent), Kansas (19.9 percent), and Louisiana (19.4 percent). The states that saw their NIH funding levels decline the most from 2007 to 2011 were New Jersey (-24.4 percent), Mississippi (24.2 percent), West Virginia (-23.3 percent), Vermont (-21.9 percent), and New Mexico (-21 percent).

In the second half of the decade (2012-2016), the states that saw their NIH award funding levels grow the most were Alaska (68.3 percent), Arkansas (56.7 percent), Mississippi (55.7 percent), North Dakota (52.6 percent), and Idaho (49 percent). West Virginia (-35.5 percent), Louisiana (-15.6 percent), Iowa (-12.8 percent), Kansas (-10.6 percent), and Oregon (-9.8 percent) saw their NIH award funding levels decline the most from 2012 to 2016.

Beyond bringing federal research dollars to states and their innovation economies, NIH research also builds a foundation for private sector R&D. A recent study found that nearly one-third of NIH grants (30.8 percent) awarded between 1980 and 2007 produced research cited by private-sector patents, which underscores the importance of publicly funded biomedical research.

SSTI has compiled NIH data on both total dollar amounts and number of awards by state for each from 2007 to 2016. The data is downloadable in Excel format at the bottom of this page.  

useful stats, nihFile Useful Stats 080317.xlsx