The United States is often criticised for using up 25% of the world's resources while comprising only 5% of its population. In fact, America contributes substantially to global growth through its contributions in terms of scientific research and development and education of foreign-born scientists.
America provides 31% of all global scientific research and development funding
In 2007, America provided $353 billion in R&D funding, out of a world total of $1.1 trillion. This compares to $65 billion from Germany, $44 billion from France and $40 billion from the UK.
of American R&D funding is private, not government
Private funding for R&D overtook government funding in the late 1970s and has vastly increased the amount of funding available. In 2006, 65% of US R&D funding was provided by industry.
42 of the top 100 spending R&D companies in the world are American
The top four spending companies are all American Pfizer, Ford Motor, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft. Together, those four companies spend almost $15 billion on R&D.
The US continues to produce the dominant share of world
In 2003, the US produced over 200,000 articles in major scientific and engineering journals. The National Science Foundation found that "U.S. institutions were at least partially responsible for half of the world's influential articles; no other major publishing center approached this figure. Moreover, compared with other major publishing centers, a considerably higher percentage of total U.S. output was classified as influential.
The US educates increasing numbers of foreign scientists
In 2006, US academic institutions were home to over 142,000 postgraduate students in science and engineering fields, and increase of 45 percent since 1996. In addition, the number of foreign postdoctoral students in science and engineering is greater than that of US citizens and permanent residents, by 20,778 to 14,035.
Foreign-born scientists in the US are predominantly from the developing world
There are over 3.3 million foreign-born scientists working in the United States. Of these, 56% are from Asia and 5% each from Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
Americans have won more Nobel Prizes than the
citizens of any other country
56 Americans have won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 87 Americans have won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and 64 Americans have won the Nobel Prize for Physics. The relatively new Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, which began in 1969, has been awarded to an American 35 times.
National Science Foundation
Financial Times R&D Report
 'U.S. R&D Increased 6.0% in 2006 According to NSF Projections', Table 1. U.S. R&D expenditures, by character of work, performing sector, and source of funds: 2006 (projected), National Science Foundation, April 2007, at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf07317/
 'Top 100 global companies by R&D', Financial Times, 12 November 2007, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/61eb97b8-8ee1-11dc-87ee-0000779fd2ac,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F61eb97b8-8ee1-11dc-87ee-0000779fd2ac.html%3Fnclick_check%3D1&_i_referer=&nclick_check=1
 'Changing U.S. Output of Scientific Articles: 1988-2003', Derek Hill, Alan I. Rapoport, Rolf F. Lehming, and Robert K. Bell, National Science Foundation, July 2007, p.1, at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07320/pdf/nsf07320.pdf
 'First-Time, Full-Time Graduate Student Enrollment in Science and Engineering Increases in 2006, Especially Among Foreign Students', Table 1, Julia Oliver, National Science Foundation, December 2007, at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf08302/
 'Nobel prize laureates (most recent) by country', NationMaster.com, at http://www.nationmaster.com/red/graph/peo_nob_pri_lau-people-nobel-prize-laureates&b_printable=1; Britons awarded Nobel Prizes for medicine, physics and economics, British Information Services, 12 October 2003, at http://www.britainusa.com/sections/articles_show_nt1.asp?d=0&i=41029&L1=0&L2=0&a=26672&pv=1
 All Laureates in Chemistry, Nobelprize.org, at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/
 All Laureates in Medicine, Nobelprize.org, at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/
 All Laureates in Physics, Nobelprize.org, at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/
 All Laureates in Economics, Nobelprize.org, at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/