Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Press Release 14-002

NSF study details recent US research and development growth

glass recipients in a lab

U.S. research and development grew at a faster rate than the gross domestic product in 2011.
Credit and Larger Version

January 3, 2014

New data collected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) have resulted in an upward revision in the previously published 2011 U.S. research and development (R&D) performance total, and further expansion of U.S. R&D performance is indicated for 2012. These new data put U.S. R&D expenditures at $428.2 billion in 2011, an increase of $20.5 billion over 2010. The preliminary estimate of the 2012 U.S. total for R&D is $452.6 billion.

After accounting for inflation, R&D grew at a faster rate than the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011. Preliminary data for 2012 indicate similar findings. This growth is in marked contrast to data for 2009 and 2010, which showed essentially no growth in R&D, even while GDP did expand both years. The data showed that the renewed increase in business R&D contributed most significantly to the improved U.S. R&D numbers for 2011 and 2012.

For more information on this report, please contact Mark Boroush.

Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) for more reports and other products.


Media Contacts
Deborah Wing, NSF, (703) 292-5344,

Program Contacts
Mark Boroush, NSF, (703) 292-8726,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page:
NSF News:
For the News Media:
Science and Engineering Statistics:
Awards Searches: