National Patterns of R&D Resources describes and analyzes current patterns of research and development (R&D) in the United States, in relation to the historical record and the reported R&D levels of other industrialized countries. In years when the full report is not published, the Division of Science Resources Statistics makes available "data update tables" (like those provided below) to provide public access to the most current data.
Please Note: For trend comparisons, use only the historical data reported here. These tables incorporate the latest revisions to prior-year data, including recently revised estimates of R&D performance by nonprofit organizations. Do not use data published earlier.
Tables 1-12 and table D below contain NSF's most current information to date regarding R&D expenditures in the United States. The expenditure levels reported are broken out by:
For the first four categories, annual data are provided back to the 1950s in table D.
Table 13 provides the research and development expenditures as well as administrative information for the 36 U.S. federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) in fiscal year 2003.
Table 14 supplies international R&D data pertaining to the major industrialized "group of seven" countries (the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada). These data include total R&D in constant 2000 dollars (by purchasing power parity) and as a percent of national gross domestic product.
Researchers may wish to examine the previous report, National Patterns of R&D Resources: 2003, and forthcoming National Patterns reports for more extensive and updated analyses of historical R&D trends and for more detailed breakdowns of R&D expenditure (such as by academic fields of study or sector of private industry). Explanations of methodological and technical aspects of how the R&D statistics have been obtained and compiled can be found in The Methodology Underlying the Measurement of R&D Expenditures: 2000 and the forthcoming methodology report for 2003. As explained in the technical notes of these reports, the data presented here on R&D expenditures derive from information obtained from four NSF/SRS surveys: Research and Development in Industry: 2003; Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2003; Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 2003, 2004, and 2005; and Survey of R&D Funding & Performance by Nonprofit Organizations: Fiscal Years 1996 and 1997.
Note that R&D expenditure levels from federal sources, presented here based on performer-reported surveys, differ from the federal R&D funding totals reported by the federal agencies that provide those funds. The difference in the federal R&D totals appears to be concentrated in the funding of industry by the Department of Defense. See National Patterns of R&D Resources: 2003 and forthcoming National Patterns reports for detailed discussion and documentation of these differences.
Prior to fiscal year 2001, R&D data for all federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) were collected on three different surveys: the Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges (for university-administered FFRDCs), the Survey of Industrial R&D (for industry-administered FFRDCs), and the Survey of Federal Funds for R&D (for nonprofit-administered FFRDCs). Beginning in fiscal year 2001, data for all 36 FFRDCs were collected on the Survey of Academic R&D Expenditures.
Two adjustments have been made to the presentation of R&D performed at universities and colleges (not including FFRDCs). For 1998 and later years, adjustments have been made to university R&D figures to eliminate double counting of funds passed through from one academic institution to another. In fiscal year 1998, $479 million in passthrough funds were reported. For FY 2004, $1,207 million in passed-through funds are estimated. The character of work estimation procedure for university and college R&D also was revised for 1998 and later years. Respondent corrections and the revised estimation procedure resulted in an increase of approximately 5 percentage points in the share of academic R&D characterized as basic research. These changes make data for 1998 and later years not directly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years. Character-of-work estimates for industry have also been revised for 1998 and later years; hence these data are not directly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years. Revisions to industry data resulted in a net decrease in the proportion of industry R&D classified as basic research.
Tables 1 through 8 are arranged to allow for direct comparisons of R&D data organized in two ways: (1) by performer first and then by source of funds, or (2) by source of funds first and then by performer. The first case addresses the question, what type of organization performs the R&D, and for each performer, from what kinds of organizations does it receive its funding? The second case addresses the question, What type of organization provides funding for R&D, and to which kinds of performers does each provide those funds?
For example, the upper left-hand corners of table 1 and table 2 are displayed below, which represent cases 1 and 2, respectively. In table 1, the column for the federal government as a performer, as defined in the first row, is not subdivided because the federal government is the only source of funds for federal intramural research. Industry performance, in contrast, is subdivided by the two main sources of industrial performance: the federal government and industry's own funds.
In table 2, on the other hand, the federal government as a source defines a column in the first row, which is subdivided into several columns in the second row for the performers that receive those funds, such as the federal government itself and industry.
The third row of each table provides the column number for table D, containing annual historical data from 1953 to 2004 (where data for 2003 and 2004 are preliminary). Note, for instance, that, in table 1, industrial performance that is funded by federal support is designated as column  in table D. In table 2, federal support that is directed to industry performers is also designated as column  because these two concepts are identical, and thus, the same column in table D represents them.
Tables 3, 5, and 7 are structured the same as table 1 and tables 2, 4, and 6 are structured the same as table 2, but tables 3 through 8 refer present data on basic research, applied research, and development expenditures, rather than total R&D expenditures (the sum of those three components).