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Historical R&D Data

Below you'll find sets of tables and charts on federal funding for R&D. Much of the data contained in the below sections have been generated by AAAS, through analyses of the President's annual budget and Congressional appropriations, while other data is from other sources like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Most of the charts and data in the below sections are available as image files and spreadsheets, though some older data are available as only PDF for now.

Historical Trends in Federal R&D (1953 – )This is the primary AAAS data set, including data from AAAS reports over the years on federal R&D spending by agency, function, and character, and as a share of GDP. It also contains some overall data series on R&D performers, disciplines, research intensity, and national totals, taken from the OECD and NSF.

Other sets incorporating external sources include the following:

R&D at Colleges and UniversitiesThis set provides inflation-adjusted data and charts on university R&D by discipline and by source, including federally-funded R&D, based on NSF data.

Research by Science and Engineering Discipline: This set provides graphs of federal R&D funding by discipline and sub-field, based on NSF data.

Please note that some of the data from non-AAAS sources may contain inconsistencies with our data because of differing time frames and methodology. Please see our Methodology, Data Sources, and Important Notes page for more information.