MAP: The Flow Of R&D Dollars In And Out Of The US

If Europe is able to get out from under its crisis, it may have the U.S. to thank.

According to the National Science Foundation’s latest release on research and development trends (PDF), American multinationals spend most of their R&D dollars there.  

In 2008, U.S. firms spent $24.2 billion on R&D in Europe, about 64% of the $37 billion worldwide total, compared with $7.21 billion in Asia. Europe’s been the largest recipient at least since 1998, when U.S. companies spent $10.4 billion, compared to $1.6 billion in Asia.

Here’s a map showing expenditures in and out of the U.S. for all other regions. Notice Canadian firms have actually reduced spending here over the past decade, while Africa and South America have ramped up American R&D (though we haven’t exactly reciprocated).

r&d mpa

Photo: National Science Foundation

Spending on chemicals development, which includes pharmaceuticals, took the greatest share of U.S. multinational spending in Europe, at $6.25 billion. Likewise, among European firms performing R&D in the U.S., chemicals spending accounted for a majority, with Switzerland spending $5.4 billion here.

The NSF also tracked R&D employment over the past decade; it’s essentially flatlined domestically:

r&d employment

Photo: National Science Foundation

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