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Useful Stats: R&D Personnel at Institutions of Higher Education by Metropolitan Area, 2019

March 25, 2021
By: Colin Edwards

The R&D performed at colleges and universities is an important driver for the innovation economy — generating new knowledge, spurring invention, training STEM talent, and supporting economic development. This edition of SSTI’s Useful Stats analyzes metropolitan-level data for 2019 from the National Science Foundation on higher education R&D (HERD) expenditures and personnel. Nearly 981,000 individuals in higher education across the U.S. were classified as R&D personnel in 2019. As shown by the green shading in the interactive map below, the metropolitan areas with the greatest total number of HERD personnel in 2019 were Baltimore, Maryland* (44,323); New York-Newark-Jersey City (43,103); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California (35,796); Boston-Cambridge-Newton (35,587); and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (27,147).

Also shown in the map below, as indicated by the pink bubbles, the metropolitan areas with the greatest total HERD expenditures per R&D employee in 2019 were Utica-Rome, New York ($972,436); Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina ($437,489); Barnstable Town, Massachusetts ($289,071); Battle Creek, Michigan ($208,000); and Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York ($203,000).

Pro tip: Use the zoom function in the interactive map to get a closer look at these trends in regions and states.

As seen by the blue shading in the interactive map below, the metropolitan areas where PIs made up the greatest share of total HERD personnel in 2019 were Battle Creek, Michigan (80 percent); Lynchburg, Virginia (67 percent); Killeen-Temple, Texas (66.7 percent); Wilmington, North Carolina (64.1 percent); and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida (60.8 percent).

Also seen in the interactive map below, as indicated by the orange bubbles, the metropolitan areas with the greatest total HERD expenditures per principal investigator in 2019 were Utica-Rome, New York ($10.8 million); Laredo, Texas ($6.1 million); Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina ($1.6 million); Pueblo, Colorado ($1.6 million); and Macon, Georgia ($1.2 million).

Click here for the SSTI spreadsheet used in this analysis.

*Data for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University of Maryland, College Park, are reported jointly and assigned to the Baltimore metropolitan area in this analysis. The Johns Hopkins University includes data from the Applied Physics Laboratory in its reporting which also impacts the Baltimore metropolitan figures.

useful stats, higher ed