3. Innovation by country (version 1)


1. Introduction

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

2. Rankings for 2011

Rank        Country Innovation Population Innovation_per_capita
   1    Switzerland   48.16667      7.702               6.25379
   2         Israel   23.00000      7.562               3.04152
   3            USA  859.66667    313.085               2.74579
   4             UK  145.33333     62.417               2.32843
   5        Denmark   12.00000      5.573               2.15324
   6        Austria   16.50000      8.413               1.96125
   7    Netherlands   26.33333     16.665               1.58016
   8         Sweden   14.50000      9.441               1.53585
   9        Germany  122.00000     82.163               1.48485
  10         Canada   43.00000     34.350               1.25181
  11      Australia   23.83333     22.606               1.05429
  12         France   64.16667     63.126               1.01649
  13         Norway    5.00000      4.925               1.01523
  14        Belgium   10.00000     10.754               0.92989
  15        Finland    4.50000      5.385               0.83565
  16        Estonia    1.00000      1.341               0.74571
  17          Japan   76.50000    126.497               0.60476
  18    New_Zealand    2.50000      4.415               0.56625
  19       Slovenia    1.00000      2.035               0.49140
  20          Spain   18.83333     46.455               0.40541
  21        Ireland    1.50000      4.526               0.33142
  22       Portugal    3.50000     10.690               0.32741
  23          Qatar    0.50000      1.870               0.26738
  24      Singapore    1.33333      5.188               0.25700
  25          Italy   15.33333     60.789               0.25224
  25.1        World   1611.000       7000               0.23014
  26    South_Korea   10.00000     48.391               0.20665
  27        Hungary    2.00000      9.966               0.20068
  28         Taiwan    3.50000     23.234               0.15064
  29         Greece    1.50000     11.390               0.13169
  30   South_Africa    4.50000     50.460               0.08918
  31          Chile    1.50000     17.270               0.08686
  32      Argentina    2.00000     40.765               0.04906
  33 Czech_Republic    0.50000     10.534               0.04747
  34        Ecuador    0.50000     14.666               0.03409
  35           Iran    2.00000     74.799               0.02674
  36         Poland    1.00000     38.299               0.02611
  37          China   33.16667   1347.570               0.02461
  38          Kenya    1.00000     41.610               0.02403
  39         Russia    1.83333    142.836               0.01284
  40         Brazil    1.50000    196.655               0.00763
  41       Thailand    0.50000     69.519               0.00719
  42          India    4.00000   1241.490               0.00322

3. Comments

The USA accounts for more than half (53.4%) of the world's innovation. But per capita Switzerland is more than twice as innovative as the USA and 27 times more innovative than the global average. China ranks 8th in overall innovation (after the USA, the UK, Germany, Japan, France, Switzerland and Canada) but is 9 times LESS innovative per capita than the global average.

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