The top 10 countries that dominate natural sciences research
The United States reigns as the colossus, but China is taking up ever more space, squeezing out European stalwarts.
1 July 2019
Ernesto Del Aguila III, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
The United States is ranked at number one, but of its institutions, 48.8% had lower fractional count (FC) in 2018 than in 2015, compared with only 31% of Chinese institutions with lower FC for the period.
Germany is Europe's strongest science country in the Nature Index, with two institutions in the global top 10 (the Max Planck Society ranked 3rd and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres ranked 7th). The country's slight overall decline was most marked in the physical sciences, which recorded a 5.2% fall.
Life sciences, the United Kingdom's strongest subject field, rose by 3.5%. The country's overall output fell by 4.2%, placing it in fourth.
Only China and Australia among the top 10 countries increased their adjusted FC in 2018.
Chemistry is China's strongest discipline by far, with high-quality research output nearly double that of the physical sciences, and three times that of both the life sciences and Earth and environmental sciences.
Japan's decrease in adjusted FC was exceeded only by France's among the top 10 countries.
The University of Tokyo held onto 9th rank globally, but its 11.2% decrease was the largest among the top 10 global institutions.