The long and short of US-China rivalry

China has the largest number of institutions that have risen up the top 500 ranks over the past five years.

31 August 2017

Smriti Mallapaty

Daniren / Alamy Stock Photo

The top 500 institutions in the Nature Index 2016 rarely maintain the same position for two consecutive years. The United States has the largest number of institutions that have improved their rank over the past year — but it also hosts the most institutions whose rank has fallen. This amounts to a net gain of two ascendant institutions in 2016, compared to 2015. More institutions have also risen than fallen in China, Germany and India, during that same period.

The results look quite different, however, when observed over a five-year period. China takes the lead as the country with the most institutions that rank higher in 2016 than in 2012, with a net gain of 56 institutions. Meanwhile, the positions of 46 institutions in the US have fallen.

Data analysis by Bo Wu and Aaron Ballagh

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