These 5 states account for half of business R&D spending

Latest National Science Foundation figures show where bulk of United States R&D spending takes place

These 5 states account for half of business R&D spending
Credit: NSF

California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington account for more than half of the $255 billion in corporate R&D paid for and conducted in the United States, according to the National Science Foundation. California alone accounted for 30% of the funding.

As with so many government reports, the data in this report is actually based on information a few years old due to the collection and analysis process, so in this case we're talking 2013. You can get into the gory details in the new report from the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

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The concentration of business R&D is geographically concentrated more so than either population or gross domestic product, according to the report. Texas and New York, numbers 2 and 3 in terms of population, are ranked numbers 5 and 9 on the R&D list, reflecting that their signature industries of oil and gas extraction and financial services, respectively, a relatively less R&D intensive.

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.

Information and communication technology industries accounted for 67% of California's business R&D, and software publishers accounted for 62% of Washington's total, which isn't surprising with the likes of Microsoft headquartered there.

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