Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

US research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP


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This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from US statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from US statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other US-specific metadata information.

Actual indicator available Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP
Actual indicator available - description As stated
Date of national source publication Latest data is October 2017
Method of computation
Periodicity Annual
Scheduled update by national source
U.S. method of computation Data on national R&D expenditures (dollars) divided by data on gross domestic product (dollars)
Comments and limitations This indicator is widely used around the world as a comparative metric for national R&D intensity
Date metadata updated 2017-10-19
Disaggregation geography Some disaggregation of the indicator by U.S. geographic regions (mainly, states) is available.
Unit of measurement percent
Disaggregation categories Some disaggregation of the indicator is available by R&D performers and sources of R&D funding.
International and national references See above National Patterns URL
Time period U.S. data for this indicator is available for 1953 to present. The most recent year avaiable in published data is 2015.
Scheduled update by SDG team

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP
Target name Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.
Global indicator description The OECD Frascati Manual provides the relevant definitions for research and experimental development, gross domestic expenditure on R&D and researchers. Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. (FM '63) Intramural expenditures are all expenditures for R&D performed within a statistical unit or sector of the economy during a specific period, whatever the source of funds. (FM '358) Researchers are professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems and also in the management of the projects concerned. (FM '301) Although an OECD manual, the application is global. The Frascati Manual is currently under revision, with the next edition to be released in October 2015. The new edition of the Manual will be a truly global manual. There will be some changes to the definitions provided above, but these are not substantial.
UN designated tier 1
UN custodial agency UNESCO-UIS
Link to UN metadata Link opens in a new window
Organisation National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Patterns of R&D Resources (annual series)
Agency Staff Name Mark Boroush
Agency Survey Dataset National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Patterns of R&D Resources (annual series)
Link to data source opens in a new window

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