May 9, 2024

Research and development activity accounted for 2.3 percent of the U.S. economy in 2021, according to new experimental statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. R&D as a share of each state’s gross domestic product, or GDP, ranged from 0.3 percent in Louisiana and Wyoming to 6.3 percent in New Mexico, home to federally funded Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.


These statistics are part of a new Research and Development Satellite Account BEA is developing in partnership with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics of the National Science Foundation. The statistics complement BEA’s national data on R&D investment and provide BEA’s first state-by-state numbers on R&D.

The new statistics, covering 2017 to 2021, provide information on the contribution of R&D to GDP (known as R&D value added), compensation, and employment for the nation, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. In the state statistics, R&D is attributed to the state where the R&D is performed.

Some highlights from the newly released statistics:

R&D activity is highly concentrated in the United States. The top ten R&D-producing states account for 70 percent of U.S. R&D value added. California alone accounts for almost a third of U.S. R&D. Other top R&D-producing states include Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, and New York.


Treating R&D as a sector allows for comparisons with other industries and sectors of the U.S. economy. For instance, R&D’s share of U.S. value added in 2021 is similar to hospitals (2.4 percent) and food services and drinking places (2.2 percent).

Comparison of R and D with Other Sectors

Eighty-five percent of R&D value added is generated by the business sector, followed by government, and nonprofit institutions serving households.

Within the business sector, the professional, scientific, and technical services industry accounts for 40 percent of business R&D value added.  Information (15 percent), chemical manufacturing (12 percent), and computer and electronic product manufacturing (11 percent) also account for sizable shares.


Visit the R&D Satellite Account on BEA’s website for the full set of experimental statistics and accompanying information. To help refine the methodology and presentation of these statistics, BEA is seeking your feedback. Please submit comments to