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Latest data on Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D (GERD) by country

by April 26, 2017 General


Last update: MSTI 2016/2, 7 February 2017
Next update: MSTI 2017/1, June 2017

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Summary highlights

Below are key highlights from the latest MSTI data, a more detailed exposition of development is available here

The latest available data show that R&D intensity – expenditure on R&D as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – across OECD countries remained stable at 2.4% in 2015. Israel narrowly overtook Korea as the country with the highest Research and Development (R&D) intensity (4.25% compared to 4.23%), reclaiming the top-spot after 2 years in second place. R&D intensity plateaued at 1.95% in the EU area, rose marginally to 2.79% in the United States, and slightly declined in Japan to 3.5%. Meanwhile, China continued its steady increase, reaching 2.1% in 2015.

Across OECD countries, real Expenditure on R&D grew by 2.3% in 2015, powered by Business Enterprises (+2.5%), which represent 68.8% of total R&D in the OECD in 2015.  Meanwhile, real R&D expenditure grew by 2.1% in the Higher Education sector and by 1.8% in the Government sector. 

Government-financed R&D has declined (in real, PPP terms) by 2.4% since 2010, when it accounted for 31% of total OECD R&D expenditures, falling to 27% by 2014. The latest government budget data, which present information on amounts allocated for R&D rather than actual expenditure on R&D, showed that government budgets for R&D fell by 0.2% in 2015. The outlook for 2016 is mixed, with the United States showing fairly strong growth, Japan showing a decline, and the aggregate movement for the other OECD countries being broadly flat. 

These figures on government funding do not include the (off R&D-budget) cost of tax incentives for business R&D, where they exist, which have been increasing in many countries – but not always enough to offset budget cuts. The latest OECD data on the cost and design of R&D tax incentives ( provide an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of government efforts to incentivise business R&D across OECD and other major economies.

The latest patent data show the number of patents filed by Chinese inventors continued to rise in 2014, while filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty by United States inventors declined.

About MSTI

The MSTI database provides a set of indicators that reflect the level and structure of efforts in the field of science and technology undertaken from 1981 onwards by OECD Member countries and seven non-member economies: Argentina, China, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Chinese Taipei.  These data include final or provisional results as well as forecasts established by government authorities.  The indicators cover the resources devoted to research and development, patent families, technology balance of payments and international trade in R&D-intensive industries.

Indicators on R&D expenditures, budgets, and personnel are derived from the OECD’s Research and Development Statistics database (RDS), which is based on the data reported to OECD and Eurostat in the framework of the joint OECD/Eurostat international data collection on resources devoted to R&D.

The sources for the other indicators include the OECD databases on Activities of Multinational Enterprises (AMNE), on Bilateral Trade in Goods by Industry and End-use category database (BTDIxE), on Patents, and the Technological Balance of Payments (TBP).

Details of coverage

Accessing MSTI

The electronic edition is available via the OECD’s data dissemination service, “OECD.stat”From there, the MSTI Excel file can be downloaded by clicking “export” and then “related files”. The MSTI database is also available online through OECDiLibrary.

The OECD R&D and GBAORD Sources and Methods Database contains meta-data relating to series presented in MSTI and RDS.

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