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Which countries spend the most of their GDP on Research and Development

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A robust research and development (R&D) infrastructure is vital for the economic development of the country. A strong R&D is the basis of innovation which ultimately leads to the overall economic development of the country. The map above shows what percentage of their GDP did countries spend on research and development in 2013.

According to a World Bank report, South Korea spent the maximum amount of its GDP on research and development. As per the report, the nation, which has carved a niche around the world due to its range of highly innovative and well-designed products, spent around 4.15 percent of its GDP on research and development in 2013. Israel is the other big spender, which spent an upward of 4 percent of its GDP on R&D. The nation closely followed South Korea with 4.09 percent.

The Asian nation of the Japan and the three European nations of Sweden, Finland and Denmark also spent a considerable amount of 3 percent and above. Japan, which has set a benchmark in technological innovation and creates products which are loved worldwide, was at the third spot spending some 3.47 percent of its GDP on research and development. Sweden, Finland and Denmark occupied the fourth, fifth and sixth spots, spending 3.31, 3.30, and 3.08 percent of its GDP respectively, on research and development.

The United States is among the top ten nations that spent the most on research and development. In 2013, the North American nation, which ranked at the eighth spot, spent 2.73 percent of its GDP on research and development. The other three nations among the top ten countries were Austria, Germany and Slovenia, where the percentage was 2.96, 2.83, and 2.60 respectively.

As per the list, the nations that spent more than 2 percent of its GDP on research and development were Belgium, France, Australia, China, and Singapore. China is rapidly catching up. An emerging economy, China spent just 0.57 percent of its GDP on research and development in 1996. But by 2013, this figure has risen to 2.01 percent. The two developed nations of Canada and the United Kingdom spent just 1.69 percent and 1.66 percent of its GDP on research and development.

Brazil is the only South American nation that is spending an upward of one percent of its GDP on research and development. While Brazil spent 1.24 percent of its GDP on research and development, in other South American nations it was less than 1 percent.

(Data sourced from World Bank)

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