3. Innovation by country (version 3)

by Wen 2012

1. Introduction

The goal of this article is to compare countries or regions in terms of science and technology innovation.

2. Comments

The US accounts for more than half (54.7%) of the world's innovation. But per capita Switzerland is more than twice as innovative as the US and 28 times more innovative than the global average. China ranks 6th in overall innovation (after the US, the UK, Germany, France and Japan) but is 6 times LESS innovative per capita than the global average.

3. Rankings for 2012-2015

 Rank         Region Innovation Population Innovation_per_capita
    1    Switzerland      201.3      8.081               24.9144
    2        Iceland        5.0      0.323               15.4799
    3            USA     3476.2    322.000               10.7955
    4             UK      583.7     64.100                9.1056
    5        Denmark       50.2      5.614                8.9508
    6         Israel       62.0      8.059                7.6933
    7        Austria       59.0      8.474                6.9625
    8    Netherlands      111.7     16.800                6.6468
    9         Sweden       61.5      9.593                6.4109
   10        Germany      454.0     80.620                5.6314
   11      Australia      112.8     23.130                4.8782
   12      Singapore       23.8      5.399                4.4144
   13         Canada      146.5     35.160                4.1667
   14        Belgium       43.5     11.200                3.8839
   15         Norway       18.3      5.084                3.6061
   16         France      211.0     66.030                3.1955
   17        Finland       15.8      5.439                2.8958
   18    New_Zealand       10.0      4.471                2.2366
   19        Ireland        8.0      4.595                1.7410
   20       Slovenia        3.5      2.060                1.6990
   21          Japan      210.2    127.300                1.6510
   22        Estonia        2.0      1.325                1.5094
   23          Spain       64.1     46.770                1.3702
   24         Cyprus        1.5      1.141                1.3146
   25          Italy       56.8     59.830                0.9499
   26       Portugal        9.6     10.460                0.9162
   27          WORLD     6352.0   7208.000                0.8812
   28    South_Korea       39.0     50.220                0.7766
   29         Taiwan       15.5     23.370                0.6632
   30         Panama        2.5      3.864                0.6470
   31          Chile        8.3     17.620                0.4729
   32         Greece        5.0     11.030                0.4533
   33 Czech_Republic        4.0     10.520                0.3802
   34        Armenia        1.0      2.977                0.3359
   35        Hungary        3.2      9.897                0.3200
   36        Uruguay        1.0      3.407                0.2935
   37       Slovakia        1.5      5.414                0.2771
   38        Lebanon        1.0      4.467                0.2239
   39        Georgia        1.0      4.504                0.2220
   40      Argentina        7.5     41.450                0.1809
   41   South_Africa        8.3     52.980                0.1573
   42          China      207.0   1357.000                0.1525
   43   Saudi_Arabia        4.0     28.830                0.1387
   44       Bulgaria        1.0      7.265                0.1376
   45         Poland        5.0     38.530                0.1298
   46       Malaysia        3.5     29.720                0.1178
   47        Croatia        0.5      4.253                0.1176
   48           Mali        1.0     15.300                0.0654
   49            UAE        0.5      9.346                0.0535
   50      Sri_Lanka        1.0     20.480                0.0488
   51        Bolivia        0.5     10.670                0.0469
   52         Russia        6.5    143.500                0.0453
   53          Kenya        1.8     44.350                0.0413
   54         Mexico        4.3    122.300                0.0354
   55         Brazil        7.0    200.400                0.0349
   56       Colombia        1.0     48.320                0.0207
   57        Morocco        0.5     33.010                0.0151
   58         Turkey        1.0     74.930                0.0133
   59        Ukraine        0.5     45.490                0.0110
   60    Philippines        1.0     98.390                0.0102
   61          Egypt        0.5     82.060                0.0061
   62          India        3.0   1252.000                0.0024

4. Rankings for 2011-2014

 Rank         Region Innovation Population Innovation_per_capita
    1    Switzerland      197.0      8.081               24.3782
    2        Iceland        4.0      0.323               12.3839
    3            USA     3456.3    322.000               10.7340
    4        Denmark       53.2      5.614                9.4852
    5             UK      575.2     64.100                8.9730
    6         Israel       69.5      8.059                8.6239
    7        Austria       65.0      8.474                7.6705
    8    Netherlands      111.7     16.800                6.6468
    9         Sweden       59.0      9.593                6.1503
   10        Germany      467.5     80.620                5.7988
   11      Australia      107.2     23.130                4.6332
   12         Canada      151.8     35.160                4.3184
   13        Belgium       43.7     11.200                3.8988
   14      Singapore       19.7      5.399                3.6426
   15         Norway       17.8      5.084                3.5077
   16        Finland       18.8      5.439                3.4473
   17         France      226.5     66.030                3.4303
   18    New_Zealand        9.5      4.471                2.1248
   19        Ireland        9.5      4.595                2.0675
   20       Slovenia        4.0      2.060                1.9417
   21          Japan      239.7    127.300                1.8827
   22          Spain       72.9     46.770                1.5590
   23        Estonia        2.0      1.325                1.5094
   24       Portugal       10.1     10.460                0.9640
   25          Italy       54.2     59.830                0.9053
   26          WORLD     6367.0   7208.000                0.8833
   27         Cyprus        1.0      1.141                0.8764
   28    South_Korea       34.0     50.220                0.6770
   29         Taiwan       15.0     23.370                0.6418
   30         Greece        5.5     11.030                0.4986
   31          Chile        7.8     17.620                0.4446
   32 Czech_Republic        4.5     10.520                0.4278
   33         Panama        1.5      3.864                0.3882
   34        Hungary        3.7      9.897                0.3705
   35          Qatar        0.5      2.169                0.2305
   36        Georgia        1.0      4.504                0.2220
   37   South_Africa       11.0     52.980                0.2076
   38       Slovakia        1.0      5.414                0.1847
   39      Argentina        6.0     41.450                0.1448
   40          China      185.7   1357.000                0.1368
   41         Poland        4.0     38.530                0.1038
   42       Malaysia        2.5     29.720                0.0841
   43           Mali        1.0     15.300                0.0654
   44          Kenya        2.5     44.350                0.0564
   45         Russia        7.8    143.500                0.0546
   46      Sri_Lanka        1.0     20.480                0.0488
   47   Saudi_Arabia        1.0     28.830                0.0347
   48         Brazil        6.5    200.400                0.0324
   49        Ecuador        0.5     15.740                0.0318
   50         Mexico        3.3    122.300                0.0273
   51           Iran        2.0     77.450                0.0258
   52        Morocco        0.5     33.010                0.0151
   53         Turkey        1.0     74.930                0.0133
   54        Ukraine        0.5     45.490                0.0110
   55    Philippines        1.0     98.390                0.0102
   56       Thailand        0.5     67.010                0.0075
   57          Egypt        0.5     82.060                0.0061
   58          India        7.0   1252.000                0.0056

5. Methodology

The rankings are based on publications in two academic journals - "Science" and "Nature". "Science" and "Nature" cover the full range of scientific disciplines and are the two most prestigious academic journals.

A country gets points for every publication whose first author is from that country. If the first author lists affiliations in n countries then those countries each get 1/n points. For example, if the first author works in Canada and in the US, both Canada and the US get half a point. Note that by first author I mean only the first author listed even if other authors are described as having contributed equally.

Although this method is very simple, I believe it is preferable to other rankings like BCG's or INSEAD's Global Innovation Index which are based on invalid criteria like total publications, publications with a foreign coauthor (publication quality varies dramatically & a foreign coauthor is not a measure of quality), research spending (a measure of effort not achievement) or patents (patent law varies widely between countries).

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