Science  20 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5295, pp. 2017
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5295.2017d

European countries are producing twice as many people with bachelor's degrees in the natural sciences and engineering than in the mid-1970s, says a report to be released in January by the National Science Foundation (NSF). * The reason: Many more Europeans are going to college.

While the fraction of European college students who major in science is almost double what it is in the United States, the fraction of Europe's total population holding science degrees is much smaller. But that's changing, says NSF's Jean Johnson: In 1992, the latest year for which data are available, roughly 4% of all 24-year-olds in Europe held university degrees in science or engineering—close to the 4.6% figure for the U.S. The biggest producer of techies is Bulgaria, where the comparable proportion is 7.5%. At the other end of the spectrum are Portugal and Romania, at less than 2%.

* Human Resources for Science and Technology, the European Region (NSF 96-316).

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