Sweden second for research spending

Sweden spends a larger share of GDP on research and development than any other country in the world apart from Israel. But according to new figures from Statistics Sweden, the country's research expenditure as a share of GDP has dropped slightly in recent years.

In 2005, the last year for which figures are available, Sweden spent a total of 103.8 billion kronor ($14.8) on research and development. Two years previously the equivalent total was 97.1 billion.

But in terms of GDP, Sweden spent a larger share in 2003 (3.95%) than in 2005 (3.88%).

Israel’s research expenditure was considerably higher than that of any other country, accounting for 4.71 percent of GDP.

Israel and Sweden were followed in 2005 by Finland, Japan, South Korea and USA.

Sweden differed from many of the other countries in that the amount invested by the governement sector accounted for less than five percent of total investment in research and development.

Private enterprises on the other hand contributed 74 percent, while the higher education sector invested 21 percent of the total.