The U.S. trails the European Union in doctoral degrees awarded in science and engineering and faces intense competition from China. China now awards nearly as many S&E doctorates as the U.S. In the 15-year period between 2000 and 2014, China increased their doctoral degree output in science and engineering by over 53 percent (see GRAPH 3.16)
There are more researchers in the European Union and in China than in the United States. Since 2010, China has surpassed the number of researchers in the U.S. In 2015, the estimated number of total researchers in China was more than 1.6 million compared to 1.3 million in the United States (see GRAPH 4.19).