• The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reports that in 2013 five states dominated the country's business research and development.
     The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reports that in 2013 five states dominated the country's business research and development.

NSF: Five States Rule U.S. Business R&D

October 4, 2016


In four of the top 10 states a single industry dominates research.


Five states accounted for just over half of the $255 billion of research and development (R&D) companies paid for and performed in the United States in 2013, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

Business R&D is geographically concentrated in the United States to a greater degree than either gross domestic product (GDP) or population. The five states with the highest levels of business R&D performance—California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington—accounted for $133 billion, or 52 percent, of the total.

California alone accounted for $77 billion, or 30 percent, of self-funded business R&D. That is up from 25 percent five years ago. Between 2008 and 2013, California's R&D performance grew at a faster pace than its economy as a whole, resulting in its ratio of business R&D to GDP, which is known as R&D intensity, increasing from 2.8 percent to 3.5 percent.

The top 10 states for R&D paid for and performed by U.S. companies are:

  • California- $77 billion.
  • Massachusetts- $14 billion.
  • Michigan- $14 billion.
  • Washington- $14 billion.
  • Texas- $13 billion.
  • Illinois- $12 billion.
  • New Jersey- $12 billion.
  • Pennsylvania- $10 billion.
  • New York- $9 billion.
  • Minnesota- $6 billion.

In four of the top 10 states, a single industry dominated business R&D. For Michigan, that industry was automobile manufacturing, which accounts for 74 percent of its total. Software publishers accounted for 62 percent of Washington's total, and the pharmaceutical industry for 53 percent and 48 percent of New Jersey's and Pennsylvania's totals, respectively.

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