Life & Physical Scientists


What is the importance of life and physical scientists?

Life and physical scientists represent a highly creative group of occupations, and form a key part of a knowledge based economy. These occupations require specialized education, and contribute both to the creation and application of scientific knowledge to develop solutions for technical, societal, and commercial problems. Accordingly, life and physical scientists are at the forefront of innovations that drive and sustain a knowledge-based economy. The share of life and physical scientists as a percentage of all occupations signifies both the current level of competitiveness in high tech industries, and the capacity for innovation. Life and physical science occupations are among highest paid, and thus contribute to the overall enhancement of living standards. 

What is measured?

Number of life and physical scientists is measured as a proportion of all occupations.  



How competitive is Arizona?

To gauge Arizona’s relative competitiveness, the share of life and physical scientists as a percentage of all occupations is compared with other U.S. border states. Data are provided on an annual basis, with indices of percentage change between observed periods.  


Note: New Mexico life & physical scientist occupations data exhibits frequent reporting error across most categories, but most notably in 'Physical Scientists - All Other', causing unusual fluctuations in trend visualizations. These data should be cited with caution.


Annual data

Annual data

The table on this page displays Life & Physical Scientists as a percent of the total workforce for southern Border States on an annual basis. Data are updated following release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Click on any title to graph that series, and export. Or, click "download" at the base of the table to download the dataset, or customize based on a specified range.


Bureau of Labor Statistics , Occupational Employment Statistics Survey via NSF Science and Engineering Indicators Value is measured as the percentage of Life and Physical Scientists in each state's workforce. Life scientists are identified from standard occupational codes and include agricultural and food scientists, biological scientists, conservation scientists and foresters, and medical scientists. Physical scientists are identified from standard occupational codes and include astronomers, physicists, atmospheric and space scientists, chemists, materials scientists, environmental scientists, and geoscientists. Data on individuals in life and physical sciences occupations and total occupations come from a survey of workplaces that assigns workers to a state based on where they work.

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