This digest of key S&E indicators draws from the Board's Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, the 23rd volume of this biennial series.

The digest serves to draw attention to important trends and data points from across Indicators 2018 and to introduce readers to the data resources available in the report.

Readers are invited to explore each of the key indicators presented here in more detail in the full report.

Image credit: Oleg D. Lavrentovich, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University


The National Science Board (Board) is required under the National Science Foundation (NSF) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1863 (j) (1) to prepare and transmit the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report to the President and to the Congress every even-numbered year. The report is prepared by NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) under the guidance of the Board. It is subject to extensive review by Board members, outside experts, interested federal agencies, and NCSES internal reviewers for accuracy, coverage, and balance.

Indicators are quantitative representations relevant to the scope, quality, and vitality of the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise. Indicators is a factual and policy-neutral source of high-quality U.S. and international data; it neither offers policy options nor makes policy recommendations. The indicators included in the report contribute to the understanding of the U.S. S&E enterprise within a global context.