South Korea and Israel are the biggest R&D spenders worldwide.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2019)

According to the latest R&D statistics, South Korea and Israel are the two biggest spenders on research and development. The two countries remain head-to-head, spending 4.6% of their GDP on R&D in 2017. However, in terms of the most dollars being spent, the United States remains the biggest spender on R&D, followed by China and Japan. UNESCO's Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released new data that shows how much each country is investing in R&D. The data shows that South Korea is the biggest spender when it comes to R&D as a percentage of GDP, followed by Israel. However, in terms of the most dollars being spent, the United States remains the biggest spender on R&D, followed by China and Japan. These three countries alone account for almost half of the world's total R&D expenditure. The data also shows that the European Union (EU) is the second-largest spender on R&D after the US, with total spending of $486 billion in 2017.