The UIS has published new data on the human and financial resources devoted to R&D for 157 countries and territories.  The release includes data for 2015 reference year, time series data and two global indicators to monitor Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9.5.

The release also includes updated data for a wide range of other R&D indicators and breakdowns, such as R&D expenditure disaggregated by sector of performance, source of funds, field of R&D, type of costs and type of R&D.  Also included are researcher’s data broken-down by sex, level of qualification, field of R&D as well as newly collected data on researchers by age groups and by seniority grade.

The new data are based on the results of the UIS annual R&D survey and agreements with partners, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Eurostat, and the Ibero-American Network of Science and Technology Indicators (RICYT).

The new data are available in the UIS Data Centre and will be featured in many global indices, reports and databases, such as the SDG indicator database (UN Statistics Division).

Explore the data with our interactive tools

SDG 9 calls on governments to promote sustainable industrialisation and innovation by ramping up spending on R&D and increasing the number of researchers.

How Much Does Your Country Invest in R&D? This tool provides a global perspective on spending patterns, as well as time series data on regional and country-level commitments to R&D, in absolute terms and relative to GDP.

According to the new data, the top five R&D performers in absolute terms (R&D expenditure) are all large economies: the United States followed by China, Japan, Germany and the Republic of Korea. But the ranking changes dramatically according to the indicator used to monitor SDG 9 (R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP): Israel and the Republic of Korea are the world leaders followed by Japan, Sweden and Austria.

R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP

UNESCO eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development

Our eAtlas makes it easy to visualize global and regional trends before drilling down to country-level data. The interactive maps and charts can be shared, downloaded and embedded in websites, blogs and presentations.

The eAtlas presents more than 75 indicators on the financial and human resources devoted to R&D. For example, “research density” is a widely used indicator that reflects the share of research in relation to the total population of a country. So while a country like India can have a large number of researchers, the density is actually low in relation to the total population, where as a country like Iceland has a high density.

Researchers (full-time equivalents) per million inhabitants 

Women in Science

Less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. For example, in Thailand, women account for 56% of researchers, compared to France with a rate of 26% or Ethiopia at 13%.

Our award-winning tool lets you explore the gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of science that women pursue and the sectors in which they work.

Build your own data tables

The UIS data centre  lets users build their own customized tables, which can be downloaded in different formats. Follow these simple steps to extract the data:

1. Click on "Data by theme"

2. Select the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation”

3. Select the sub-theme “Research and experimental development”

4. Select a data table

5. Click "Customise" to select indicator, country and year(s)