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U.S. Leads in Science, But Gap Is Narrowing

According to the National Science Board's biennial report on science and engineering, which was released today, the United States remains the world's science and technology leader, but other countries are gaining ground.
The U.S. accounted for nearly a third of $1.1 trillion spent on R&D globally in 2007, produced more science and engineering doctorates than any other country, and led the world in innovative activity, accounting for 49% of all patents granted. However, China and other developing Asian countries have made successful attempts to boost their science and engineering capabilities, and the gap between them and the U.S., though still wide, is narrowing.
For the 10 years ending in 2007, spending on research and development grew between 5% and 6% annually in the United States, Japan, and the European Union. R&D spending in India, South Korea, and Taiwan grew an average 9% to 10% a year over the same period. In China, it averaged more than 20%.

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