Federal R&D funding: 10-year trends



Research and development (R&D) funded by the federal government has grown steadily since 1971, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). The total federal R&D funding gained at an annual rate of 8.6% in actual dollars. Substantial gains, on the order of 15% over 1981, had originally been planned but later revised downward, close to 0%, for the fiscal year 1982. The essential features of the 10-year trend are that federal R&D funding has been mostly directed toward the military—over twice the amount of all other types of R&D funding—and while military research funding is accelerating sharply, other research funding is on the decline. In simple terms, the 10-year increases are only for national defense.