Research and development expenditure (% of GDP) - Country Ranking

Definition: Expenditures for research and development are current and capital expenditures (both public and private) on creative work undertaken systematically to increase knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture, and society, and the use of knowledge for new applications. R&D covers basic research, applied research, and experimental development.

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Israel 4.27 2015
2 Korea 4.23 2015
3 Japan 3.28 2015
4 Sweden 3.26 2015
5 Austria 3.07 2015
6 Denmark 3.01 2015
7 Switzerland 2.97 2012
8 Finland 2.90 2015
9 Germany 2.88 2015
10 United States 2.79 2015
11 Belgium 2.46 2015
12 France 2.23 2015
13 Iceland 2.21 2015
14 Slovenia 2.21 2015
15 Australia 2.20 2013
16 Singapore 2.20 2014
17 China 2.07 2015
18 Netherlands 2.01 2015
19 Czech Republic 1.95 2015
20 Norway 1.93 2015
21 United Kingdom 1.70 2015
22 Canada 1.62 2014
23 Ireland 1.51 2014
24 Estonia 1.50 2015
25 Hungary 1.38 2015
26 Italy 1.33 2015
27 Malaysia 1.30 2015
28 Luxembourg 1.29 2015
29 Portugal 1.28 2015
30 Spain 1.22 2015
31 Slovak Republic 1.18 2015
32 Brazil 1.17 2014
33 New Zealand 1.15 2013
34 Russia 1.13 2015
35 Lithuania 1.04 2015
36 Turkey 1.01 2014
37 Poland 1.00 2015
38 Greece 0.96 2015
39 Bulgaria 0.96 2015
40 Serbia 0.87 2015
41 United Arab Emirates 0.87 2015
42 Croatia 0.85 2015
43 Saudi Arabia 0.82 2013
44 Kenya 0.79 2010
45 Malta 0.77 2015
46 Hong Kong SAR, China 0.76 2015
47 Greenland 0.73 2004
48 South Africa 0.72 2013
49 Egypt 0.72 2015
50 Morocco 0.71 2010
51 Tunisia 0.63 2015
52 India 0.63 2015
53 Thailand 0.63 2015
54 Latvia 0.63 2015
55 Ukraine 0.62 2015
56 Ethiopia 0.60 2013
57 Argentina 0.59 2014
58 Mali 0.58 2010
59 Gabon 0.58 2009
60 Costa Rica 0.58 2014
61 Mexico 0.55 2015
62 Botswana 0.54 2013
63 Senegal 0.54 2010
64 Tanzania 0.53 2013
65 Belarus 0.52 2015
66 Romania 0.49 2015
67 Qatar 0.48 2012
68 Uganda 0.48 2010
69 Cyprus 0.46 2015
70 Macedonia 0.44 2015
71 Ecuador 0.44 2014
72 Jordan 0.43 2008
73 Puerto Rico 0.43 2015
74 Cuba 0.43 2015
75 Chile 0.38 2015
76 Montenegro 0.38 2015
77 Ghana 0.38 2010
78 Vietnam 0.37 2013
79 Moldova 0.37 2015
80 St. Lucia 0.36 1999
81 Mozambique 0.34 2015
82 Namibia 0.34 2014
83 Uruguay 0.34 2014
84 Iran 0.33 2012
85 Georgia 0.32 2015
86 Nepal 0.30 2010
87 Seychelles 0.30 2005
88 Kuwait 0.30 2013
89 Sudan 0.30 2005
90 Zambia 0.28 2008
91 Togo 0.27 2014
92 Armenia 0.25 2015
93 Oman 0.25 2015
94 Pakistan 0.25 2015
95 Colombia 0.24 2015
96 Azerbaijan 0.22 2015
97 Nigeria 0.22 2007
98 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.22 2015
99 Uzbekistan 0.21 2015
100 Burkina Faso 0.20 2009
101 Mauritius 0.18 2012
102 Kazakhstan 0.17 2015
103 Myanmar 0.16 2002
104 Bolivia 0.16 2009
105 Mongolia 0.16 2015
106 Albania 0.15 2008
107 Philippines 0.14 2013
108 Macao SAR, China 0.13 2015
109 The Gambia 0.13 2011
110 El Salvador 0.13 2015
111 Paraguay 0.13 2015
112 Burundi 0.12 2011
113 Kyrgyz Republic 0.12 2015
114 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 0.12 2002
115 Cambodia 0.12 2015
116 Peru 0.12 2015
117 Tajikistan 0.11 2015
118 Nicaragua 0.11 2015
119 Bahrain 0.10 2014
120 Sri Lanka 0.10 2013
121 Trinidad and Tobago 0.09 2014
122 Indonesia 0.08 2013
123 Dem. Rep. Congo 0.08 2009
124 Cabo Verde 0.07 2011
125 Algeria 0.07 2005
126 Panama 0.06 2013
127 Jamaica 0.06 2002
128 Lesotho 0.05 2015
129 Guatemala 0.04 2012
130 Honduras 0.04 2004
131 Monaco 0.04 2005
132 Iraq 0.04 2015
133 Lao PDR 0.04 2002
134 Brunei 0.04 2004
135 Madagascar 0.02 2014

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Development Relevance: Expenditure on research and development (R&D) is a key indicator of government and private sector efforts to obtain competitive advantage in science and technology. Estimates of the resources allocated to R&D are affected by national characteristics such as the periodicity and coverage of national R&D surveys across institutional sectors and industries; and the use of different sampling and estimation methods. R&D typically involves a few large performers, hence R&D surveys use various techniques to maintain up-to-date registers of known performers, while attempting to identify new or occasional performers. R&D expenditures include expenditures from all sources for R&D performed within a country, including capital expenditures and current costs (wages and associated costs of researchers, technicians, and other supporting staff and other current costs, including noncapital purchases of materials, supplies, and minor equipment to support R&D such as utilities, reference materials, subscriptions to libraries and scientific societies, and materials for laboratories). The gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) indicator is used for international comparisons. This consists of the total expenditure (current and capital) on R&D by all resident companies, research institutes, university and government laboratories, etc. It excludes R&D expenditures financed by domestic firms but performed abroad. GERD is here expressed as a share of GDP. Research and development (R&D) comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications. R&D covers three main activities: (1) Basic research - Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundation of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view (2) Applied research - Applied research is also original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge; it is, however, directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. (3) Experimental development - Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products or devices, to installing new processes, systems and services, or to improving substantially those already produced or installed.

Limitations and Exceptions: The OECD's Frascati Manual defines research and experimental development as "creative work undertaken on a systemic 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." R&D covers basic research, applied research, and experimental development. Data on researchers and technicians in R&D are measured in both full-time equivalent and headcount but are shown in full-time equivalent only. The data are obtained through statistical surveys which are regularly conducted at national level covering R & D performing entities in the private and public sectors.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Total domestic intramural expenditure on R&D during a given period as a percentage of the GDP (i.e. the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy, including distributive trades and transport, plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products). The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics collects data on researchers, technicians, and expenditure on research and development (R&D) through its biennial R&D survey and from other international partners such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Eurostat, and the Network for Science and Technology Indicators - Ibero-American and Inter-American.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual