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Federal R&D Obligations per Individual in Science and Engineering Occupation (Dollars)

State Indicator S-43

This indicator represents the relationship between federal R&D spending in a state and the number of employees in the state who work in S&E occupations. Federal R&D dollars are attributed to the states in which the recipient organizations of federal obligations are located. Data on federal obligations for R&D come from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development, which is the primary source of information about federal funding for R&D in the United States. The survey is an annual census completed by the federal agencies that conduct R&D programs. The Department of Defense (DOD) disburses the most funding, approximately 50% of the total. The geographic distribution of DOD R&D funding to industry, mostly for development, reflects the location of prime contractors only, not the numerous subcontractors who perform much of the R&D.

S&E occupations are defined by standard occupational codes. Occupations include engineers; computer, mathematical, life, physical, and social scientists; and postsecondary teachers in these fields. Managers, technicians, elementary and secondary schoolteachers, and medical personnel are not included. Data on individuals in S&E occupations come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, a survey of workplaces that assigns workers to a state based on where they work. Estimates are developed by BLS from data provided by state workforce agencies and do not include self-employed persons.

The distribution of values for this indicator is often strongly skewed, with high values reported in the District of Columbia and adjoining states and in states where federal facilities or major defense contractors are located. Estimates for states with smaller populations are generally less precise than estimates for states with larger populations. Whereas this indicator shows the distribution of federal R&D obligations compared with the distribution of S&E occupations, many persons in S&E occupations do not receive federal money for R&D.

Data sources: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation, Federal Funds for Research and Development; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey.

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NA = not available.

NOTES: Eleven agencies are required to report federal R&D obligations: the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Science Foundation. Obligations of these 11 agencies represented over 97% of total federal R&D obligations in FY 2018. Federal R&D obligations are reported in current dollars. United States total includes obligations for U.S. territories and for which the location of performance cannot be determined. Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) estimates for 2004 and earlier are based on November data; estimates for the remaining years are based on May data. The total for the United States includes states with suppressed data and does not include territories.

SOURCE: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development (various years), data as of May 2020; Bureau of Labor Statistics, special tabulations of the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (various years), data as of May 2020.

Recommended Citation: National Science Board. “Federal R&D Obligations per Individual in Science and Engineering Occupation.” Science and Engineering Indicators: State Indicators. Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation. Accessed on [date of user access].

Last updated: November 30, 2020