increases, R&D becomes more productive, creating more knowledge, more new products, and more economic growth. The cycle is dependent on sufficient human capital, which is the most important component in advancing science and technology.
After World War II, the United States allocated more of its human capital to R&D than any other country in the world. But growth slowed in the 1980s, and a decline began in the early 1990s, when Japan led the world with 41 scientists and engineers per 10,000 people. The United States was second with 38, followed by Norway with 32, West Germany with 28, and Singapore with 23. In 1993, China had 3, and India had 1. Reasons for the decline in U.S. science and engineering graduates include a lack of academic openings, low earnings relative to other professions, and the poor quality of math and science education, which limits interest and ability in science and engineering studies.