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Employment in research on the rise in most UNECE countries

In four out of five countries in the UNECE region, the share of researchers among employed persons has increased between 2000 and 2012 according to available data for 38 countries. In those countries, the total number of researchers reached 2.4 million, an increase of 38 per cent over a decade. Even in countries severely hit by the economic crisis, like Portugal, the share of and number of researchers among the employed increased further. The share of researchers is high in all the Nordic countries.

The growth was not homogenous in the region though. While it was significantly positive in Denmark and Portugal, driven by higher education institutions; it was negative in the Russian Federation, adversely affected by steady decrease of researchers in business enterprises.

The share of women amongst researchers has increased in four out of five countries. This reflects the greater proportion of females amongst graduates. Nonetheless, women make up less than half of researchers in 33 of the 38 countries with data. Women’s share among researchers is highest in Canada (61%) and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (55%), and lowest in the Netherlands (24%).

Researchers are defined as professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems and also in the management of the concerned projects. They contribute to society and economic development through innovation and adoption of existing technologies. 

More data are available at: www.unece.org/data