Public Release: 

States vary widely on indicators of education, workforce, R&D

S&E Indicators 2004 includes state-by-state breakdown of key

National Science Foundation

ARLINGTON, Va.-Science and Engineering (S&E) Indicators 2004, a biennial report of the National Science Board to the president, presents for the first time a state-by-state breakdown of two dozen science and technology indicators. The information is designed to assist in analyzing state trends and developing state- wide goals.

The state statistics in S&E Indicators 2004, traditionally the nation's most authoritative source for national and international science and engineering trends, focus on secondary and higher education, the S&E workforce, research and development (R&D) spending, R&D outputs (such as doctoral degrees, patents and academic articles) and the high-tech economy.

The state chapter (Chapter 8) offers an easy-to-use resource, with a map for each indicator showing states in quartiles, a brief description of the indicator, key findings and a data table. A bar chart is included online. The state chapter can be accessed on the Web at

As in past years, S&E Indicators 2004 Chapter 4 contains information on R&D expenditures by state. In 2000, the most recent year for which complete data were available, the 20 highest-ranking states continue to account for 87 percent of R&D expenditures, while the 20 lowest-ranking states account for only 4 percent.

The new state indicators permit comparisons that take into account a wider range of state characteristics. These measures demonstrate that R&D expenditures do not necessarily reflect a state's ranking on other indicators, such as eighth-grade educational performance, bachelor's degrees conferred, patents awarded, federal R&D spending or share of high-tech businesses.

State Indicator Highlights

  • In most states, eighth-graders' mathematics performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress improved from 1992 to 2000, and for those states with data available for 1996 and 2000, most showed a slight increase in eighthgraders' science performance.

  • A state's ranking in the workforce, R&D or economic indicators often does not reflect its standing in education indicators (eighth-grade math and science performance or bachelor's degrees conferred).

  • College graduates are more likely to be found in states with strong federal and industry R&D investments or strong high- tech economies. The states with many bachelor's degree holders in the workforce are often not the same states conferring relatively high shares of those bachelor's degrees.

  • A wide gap separates the top states for industrial R&D investment from those at the bottom. Similarly skewed distributions appear among rankings for federal R&D spending.

  • States with a high proportion of high-tech businesses also show a higher percentage of bachelor's degree holders, S&E doctorate holders and S&E occupations in the workforce.


    Print or CD-ROM copies of Science and Engineering Indicators 2004 are available upon request. The full publications are on the Web at

    NSF Contacts: Rolf Lehming, 703-292-7810,

    Science and Engineering Indicators 2004:
    SEI2004 State Indicators:

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