Have you sometimes wondered how many Researchers in fact exist in Europe? or in the US? How about the worldwide scenery? Would you like to know the answer to these questions? Me too, but some recent comparable data is apparently difficult to find. Apart from the comparative challenge (since Researchers might be defined slightly different in the EU than in China for example), the data is usually segregated by types of Researchers (faculty members, graduate students, full-time/part-time, professors, doctoral students, post-doctoral, etc.) which makes it challenging to give one final single answer.
Probably this is one of the reasons why the figures are not so updated.. such data is probably not so easy to collect? Anyhow, “Researchers Report” (2014) has some answers for us:
To put it simply, the graph above shows the number of Researchers who work full-time (FTE), according to the European Commission’s “Researchers Report” (2014). As you can see, yes indeed.. “The EU has more researchers in absolute numbers than the US, Japan or China (..)”
“But is lagging behind its main competitors in the share of researchers in the total labour force despite a moderate increase between 2010 and 2011. The Nordic countries and Luxembourg are doing significantly better than the EU average” (EU Researchers’ Report, 2014).
Another interesting report (OECD, 2016) written by a former Maastricht University PhD fellow, Gabriel Marconi says that: “With the emergence of the knowledge economy and of knowledge communities (OECD, 2004), research and the top professional services have become more and more internationalised (OECD, 2009, 2012). Accordingly, many students are seeking opportunities to study abroad at master’s or doctoral level.”
25% of PhD students in OECD countries are international, and 60% of international PhD students study science, engineering or agriculture. Of all international students enrolled at the master’s or doctoral level across OECD countries, the majority (53%) are from Asia, and 23% are from China alone.
In my home country (Republic of Moldova), official statistics count 1.751 PhD students and 47 post-doctoral researchers. We are a tiny country in Eastern Europe of 3.6 mln. inhabitants. How about your country? How many doctoral and post-doctoral researchers are there, m? 😀