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Despite its small size, the Grand Duchy is a dynamic and innovative country

In the EU, Luxembourg spends the most on R&D per inhabitant

In the EU, Luxembourg spends the most on R&D per inhabitant

According to Eurostat data, countries that spend less than the EU average, have grown their budgets the most in the last 10 years

Today, Eurostat published data on which countries in the EU invested the most in research and development in 2021. According to the research, Luxembourg is by far the leader per capita, sitting at 689 euros per inhabitant.

R&D is a very important facet of EU development, as it helps to strengthen the bloc’s competitive edge. In that regard, Eurostat points out that in many countries, R&D budgets have grown in the past 10 years, especially in countries that generally invest below the EU average.

At the same time, R&D investment in the entire block has grown to account for 0.75% of the EU’s total GDP, up from 0.72%. In absolute funding, however, the situation is a bit different, as in 2021 the bloc spent 244 euros per person, while in 2011, that number was 184 – showing an increase of 33%.

The growers

Luxembourg is followed by Denmark with 520 euros and Germany with 471 euros. At the same time, Romania invested the least, with 19 euros per person, preceded by Bulgaria (24.1 euros), Latvia (44.6 euros) and Hungary (59.8euros).

Yet, these numbers do not tell the whole story as many of the countries with the lowest comparative investments have made huge leaps in terms of the budget proportions that they allocate to the sector.

In Latvia, for instance, the total budget for R&D almost tripled, from 29.6 million to 84.3 million. It more than doubled in Greece (from 648.5 million to 1,623.4 million), Malta (from 14.4 million to 35.3 million) and Luxembourg (from 208.8 million to 437.4 million).

Eurostat graph

The most prominent sectors of R&D investment

While there are many areas that use resources for research and development, Eurostat has focused on grouping them up into sectors. According to the data, there are five that dominate the budgetary agenda:

  • General advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from general university funds (GUF): 35.9 %;
  • General advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from other sources than GUF: 17.0 %;
  • Industrial production and technology: 10.1 %;
  • Health: 7.8 %;
  • Exploration and exploitation of space: 5.6 %.

Eurostat graph by secotr

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