The State of U.S. Science and Engineering summarizes key indicators that assess the status of the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise within the United States and that illustrate the U.S. global position in multiple aspects of the S&E enterprise. This includes information about the geographic distribution of S&E activities; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) employment opportunities; geographic differences in STEM education; and the participation of demographic and socioeconomic groups in the S&E enterprise within the United States. (See Glossary section for definition of terms used in this report).

This year’s report differs from the previous report in four major ways. First, analysis of the STEM workforce now combines two major components that were previously considered as separate: (1) S&E and S&E-related workers with a bachelor’s or higher degree and (2) skilled technical workers without such a degree. Integrating these two components provides a better estimate of those using S&E skills and knowledge to support the U.S. S&E enterprise. Second, the report includes a sidebar on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected many aspects of the S&E enterprise—education, employment, innovation, collaboration, and the release of new products into the marketplace. Third, the data for analysis of global research and development (R&D) contributions were revised due to updated purchasing power parity (PPP) estimates, which convert a country’s R&D expenditures in its own currency to dollar expenditures, as a common measure across all countries. This resulted in relatively larger changes in China’s R&D estimates than in those of other countries, which is detailed in a sidebar. Fourth, the survey instrument used to capture U.S. business innovation changed to capture innovation more comprehensively, which resulted in large revisions to the innovation data. 

This report provides high-level findings from detailed analyses in nine thematic reports that together make up Science and Engineering Indicators 2022. The thematic reports rely on publicly available data, surveys performed by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF), and surveys and analysis performed by a range of other federal and international organizations. 

Here, selected data from the nine reports are grouped into three major sections, and notes at the end of the report provide information about the specific reports that are the sources for each section. The first section describes the U.S. STEM education system from K–12 through doctoral level education and the STEM workforce, including the international composition of S&E degree-seeking students and the contribution of foreign-born workers. The second section is on R&D, which provides analysis of how various economic sectors fund and perform R&D activities and compares the United States to other top R&D-performing countries. This section also includes two sidebars: one on the revisions to the global R&D estimates and one on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. S&E enterprise. The final section focuses on outputs of the S&E enterprise to provide insight into how U.S. S&E contributes to global knowledge, innovation, and products of knowledge- and technology-intensive (KTI) industries. Highlighting the global nature of the use of these outputs, this section focuses on comparisons between the United States and other major contributing regions, countries, or economies.