In DepthBehind the Numbers

Data Check: California rules U.S. corporate research

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 537
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6312.537

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Every state wants to be home to the next Google or Facebook. But it’s no coincidence that those companies are located in California. The latest data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) show that three of every 10 corporate research dollars are now spent in California, and over the last 5 years the Golden State has widened its lead over the rest of the country. The data. which come from NSF’s annual Business R&D and Innovation Survey, describe a $265 billion enterprise in which some 500 companies account for 80% of the total spending in 2013. California was home to $77 billion in corporate research expenditures, a total that equals the combined spending in the next five states: Michigan, Massachusetts, Washington, Texas, and Illinois. Together, these six states account for nearly 57% of the $255 billion in corporate research that NSF was able to link to a particular location. Yet those states comprise just 37% of the U.S. population and generate 35% of the country’s gross domestic product.