2016 National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) Report

The National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) Report, is a high-quality quantitative data set on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise. Interactive figures provide visual representations of major findings discussed in the text. Figures, and their associated data, are available for viewing and download in PDF and Excel formats.

The National Science Board (Board) is required under the National Science Foundation (NSF) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1863 (j) (1) to prepare and transmit the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) report to the President and to the Congress every even-numbered year. The report is prepared by the NSF National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) under the guidance of the Board. It is subject to extensive review by Board members, outside experts, interested federal agencies, and NCSES internal reviewers for accuracy, coverage, and balance.

Indicators are quantitative representations relevant to the scope, quality, and vitality of the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise. SEI is a factual and policy-neutral source of high-quality U.S. and international data; it neither offers policy options nor makes policy recommendations. The indicators included in the report contribute to the understanding of the current S&E environment.

The National Science Board has selected 40 S&E indicators for inclusion in this digest. These indicators have been grouped into seven themes. Although each stands alone, collectively these seven themes are a snapshot of U.S. science and engineering in the context of global trends affecting them. Exploration of areas that indicate capacity for innovation is a thread common to many of the themes presented here. As economies worldwide grow increasingly knowledge-intensive and interdependent, capacity for innovation becomes ever more critical. Three themes provide a worldwide view, picturing R&D spending, research outputs, and STEM education. Four others share a domestic focus, providing information on U.S. R&D funding and performance, the U.S. S&E workforce, research universities, and public attitudes and understanding of science and technology. Indicators may vary in successive volumes of the Science and Engineering Indicators series as different S&E policy issues emerge.

Public Attitudes about Specific S&T-Related Issues

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Browse by TOPIC

A

  • Academic Employment and Tenure
  • Applied research
  • Associates degrees

B

  • Bachelor’s degrees
  • Basic research
  • Business and industry

C

  • Carnegie Classification
  • Collaborative research
  • Comparison by countries / nations / regions
  • Comparison by institutional control (public / private status)
  • Comparison by institutional sector
  • Comparison by level of development
  • Comparison within the U.S.
  • Comparisons by age
  • Comparisons by Carnegie Classification
  • Comparisons by degree fields
  • Comparisons by degree levels
  • Comparisons by disability status
  • Comparisons by education
  • Comparisons by income
  • Comparisons by industry
  • Comparisons by occupational categories
  • Comparisons by race and ethnicity
  • Comparisons by sex

D

  • Development
  • Distance Education
  • Doctorates

E

  • Employment projections
  • Energy
  • Engineers and Engineering
  • Enrollment
  • Environment

F

  • Federal Funding
  • Federal Government
  • FFRDCs
  • Financial aid
  • Foreign investment in R&D

G

  • Graduate Education

H

  • Health-related
  • Higher education institutions

I

  • Immigration – S&E foreign born
  • Immigration – visas
  • Immigration and stay rates
  • Innovation
  • Instructional Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Interdisciplinary
  • International students

M

  • Master’s degree
  • Multinational Corporations

P

  • Postdoctorates

R

  • Recent Graduates
  • Recession
  • Research (general)
  • Research commercialization
  • Research-intensive institutions
  • Researchers
  • Retirement

S

  • S&E degree fields
  • S&E literature
  • S&E occupations
  • Salaries
  • Small Business

T

  • Technology Transfer
  • Trade
  • Two-year and community colleges

U

  • Unemployment

About the National Science Board

The National Science Foundation Act of 1950, which created the NSF, states that “The Foundation shall consist of a National Science Board … and a Director.” Jointly the Board and the Director pursue the goals and function of the NSF, including the duty to “recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of research and education in science and engineering.”

In addition, The National Science Board has two important roles. First, it establishes the policies of NSF within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and the Congress. In this capacity, the Board identifies issues that are critical to NSF’s future, approves NSF’s strategic budget directions and the annual budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget, and approves new major programs and awards. The second role of the Board is to serve as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering. In addition to major reports, the NSB also publishes occasional policy papers or statements on issues of importance to U.S. science and engineering.

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