May 3, 2024

How many research and development jobs are in your state? Which states have the largest R&D value added? How is industry and government research money spread across the states’ GDP? BEA is developing statistics that can help answer these and other questions about the role of R&D in the economy.

In the first milestone of this project, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will issue experimental U.S. and state data for a new Research and Development Satellite Account on May 9. The statistics will complement BEA national data on investment in research and development and provide our first state-by-state numbers on R&D value added with corresponding employment and compensation statistics.  


By its nature, research and development looks to the future. Its ultimate value can’t yet be known, but we can measure the economic effects of the R&D work itself as it is performed, also known as R&D production.

The experimental statistics will combine R&D performance data from the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) with the framework BEA uses to estimate gross domestic product or GDP. Expanded R&D data, consistent with our GDP statistics, will benefit economic development, government planning at all levels, business investment, and other decision-making.

BEA will measure R&D production by its contribution to GDP (known as R&D value added), employment, and compensation. The initial data will include all three measures for the nation and for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, covering the years 2017 to 2021. In the state statistics, R&D production will be attributed to the state where it is performed.

The statistics will be broken into three R&D producing sectors—business, government, and nonprofit institutions serving households. Within the business sector, you’ll find data on each state’s R&D-intensive industries, such as computer and electronic product manufacturing or chemical manufacturing (which includes pharmaceuticals).

The value generated by R&D work is already included within estimates of GDP. At the national level, BEA currently publishes some measures of R&D production in the supply-use tables as well as measures of R&D investment. Our new work expands the R&D production measures at the national level and, for the first time, provides a state perspective, as R&D production is not separately identified in the GDP by state statistics.

Developing this satellite account allows us to complement and expand on BEA’s core statistics, as well as explore new methodologies that could improve the measurement of an important component of GDP.

The new R&D Satellite Account is supported by funding from NCSES as was work on a previous R&D satellite account, which culminated with the reclassification of R&D from an intermediate cost of production to investment as part of the 2013 comprehensive update of BEA’s GDP statistics.

BEA is seeking feedback to help refine the methodology and presentation of the R&D production statistics. Submit comments to