34 Mind-blowing Biotechnology Statistics [2020 Update]

Biotechnology might sound like something out of a science fiction movie. 

But are you aware that you might have already unknowingly come into contact with it in your day-to-day life even if you’re unfamiliar with the latest biotechnology statistics

Check this out:

One example of biotechnology application in its simplest terms is the use of yeast in baking or the brewing of alcohol. 

So, what is biotechnology?

Here’s the deal:

Biotechnology is a branch of biology that uses biomolecular and cellular processes to enhance and improve lives. About 6000 years ago, people were already using biological processes to make cheese, bread, and alcoholic beverages. 

That being said:

It wasn’t until several decades ago that scientists began experimenting with different techniques to create more advanced biotech products. The mid-1970s saw the emergence of commercial biotech companies like Amgen, Biogen, and Genentech. 

Now:

The companies have revolutionized multiple areas, most notably agriculture and medicine. With the help of the incredible biotechnology statistics we’ve gathered for you, you’ll discover that biotech is the best thing that ever happened to humanity. 

Top Interesting Facts about Biotechnology (Editor's Pick)

  • Biotech centers made a global revenue of $139.4 billion in 2016. 
  • US biotech public companies brought in a revenue of $112.2 billion in 2015.
  • As of 2020, the US biotech revenue is $114.8 billion.
  • There were over 130,000 biotech employees in the US in 2018.
  • There were 2,946 biotech businesses in the US as of 2019
  • 6 of the top 10 companies in the world are from the United States.
  • Scientists routinely use Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a biotech technology, to identify global disease epidemics.

Statistics about the Biotech Industry

1. Biotech centers made a global revenue of USD 139.4 billion in 2016.

(Statista)

Statista released its report on biotechnology industry statistics in 2017. It’s clear that biotech is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and the numbers have increased exponentially over the years. 

Here are the figures for the last few years – $89.7 billion in 2012, $99 billion in 2013, to $123.1 billion in 2014, $130.3 billion in 2015, and $139.4 in 2016.  

2. US biotech public companies brought in a revenue of $112.2 billion in 2015.

(Statista) 

The biotech industry is a big contributor to the US economy. According to biotech financial statistics, the industry generated over $112 billion in 2015 alone. 

3. There were over 800,000 biotech employees in the US as of 2018.

(Select USA)

There were close to one million employees in the industry as of 2018, according to facts about biotechnology. The staff worked across a range of occupations such as research, manufacturing, and technical support.  

4. Six of the top ten companies in the world are American.

(Statista)

The United States is a big industry player when it comes to biotechnology. According to biotech industry facts,  biotech investors have built more than half of the top biotech global companies in the United States.

5. Scientists routinely use Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a biotech technology to identify global disease epidemics.

(USA Today)

Do you remember the SARs epidemic between 2012 and 2013? Biotechnology facts state that biotech was influential in identifying the culprit. 

It gets better: 

It could be the key to finding cures for chronic diseases like cancer or HIV AIDs in the coming years.  

Biotechnology Industry Growth Statistics and Facts

6. As of 2020, the US biotech revenue is at $114.8 billion.

(IbisWorld)

The industry is not slowing down soon when it comes to contributing to the US GDP. Biotechnology statistics show that the market size revenue-wise is on the up and likely to keep rising. 

7. The US biotechnology industry is likely to grow by 2.2% in 2020.

(Ibis World)

Experts predict that the biotechnology industry growth rate will be steady in 2020. In fact, it’s an increase from previous years, which is good news for all stakeholders. 

Here’s why: 

Investors are likely to inject more funds into research and development, which will go a long way towards solving global problems when it comes to things like disease or food shortage. 

8. There were 2,946 biotech businesses in the US as of 2019.

(IbisWorld)

The number of biotech companies in the US was almost 3000 as of 2019. The development of new and diverse products is perhaps one of the biggest indicators of how quickly the industry is growing. 

There’s a huge demand for ethanol, which goes to show that agricultural clients need better crop yields, a thing that biotech continues to solve. 

9. The growth of the biotechnology industry hasn’t declined in the last five years.

(IbisWorld)

Biotechnology facts show that the industry has flourished over the last half a decade. Each year since 2015, the industry has seen an annual growth of 2.3%. 

Interesting Biotechnology Bureau of Labor Statistics

10. The employment rate for bio technicians is likely to be at 10% by 2026.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

According to biotechnology fun facts, a career path in the industry looks lucrative. The Federal Government has been funding the industry from 2016 and will continue to do so until 2026. 

 11. Biotech companies have employed around 1.66 million people since 2001.

(Bio)

In a world where the number of jobs available is usually smaller than the number of graduates, it’s refreshing to see that biotech is striving to create more jobs. If you have a knack for sciences, amazing facts about biotechnology show you’re likely to find a well-paying job here. 

By 2014, bioscience workers were already earning an annual average salary of $94,543. Compared to the average US wage sector, the bioscience industry is much more generous when it comes to remuneration. 

12. Experts predict that biotech employment rate will grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Are you considering a career in the biotechnology niche? Then you’ll be happy to know that the biotech industry overview is a positive one career-wise. According to biotechnology job growth statistics forecasts, employment in this field is likely to grow faster than in any other occupation, at 7%.  

13. Healthcare science organizations and biotechnology firms plan to join forces in 2020 for better results.

(LINCHPINSEO)

There are still a lot of areas that biotechnology can help improve, especially in the healthcare sector. From 2020 going forward, expect to see more biotechnology enhancements statistics.

A few possibilities of enhancements here might be medicine that scientists personalize for an individual, improvements in drug research, and remote treatment (virtual diagnostics, and assessments). 

Top Facts about Plant Biotechnology

14. The use of broad-spectrum insecticides has gone down by 90% since introducing BT.

(Arizona Farm Bureau)

Broad-spectrum insecticides kill insects indiscriminately and are also harsh on the environment. Some insects like honeybees can be beneficial to crops, and their destruction can interfere with crop pollination. 

Fortunately, according to biotechnology statistics, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) has reduced the need to use harsh insecticides by 90%. Farmers have used BT since the 1920s, but it was not until recently that they started using it on a larger scale.  

15. Over 60% of processed foods in the US contain genetically engineered ingredients.

(National Geographic)

Did you know that your favorite foods such as pizza, ice cream, cookies, or chips might contain genetically engineered additives. The practice has been going on since the 1990s. 

Food processing companies apply biotechnology on corn, canola or soy, and then add the engineered extracts to most foods on supermarket shelves. Interesting statistics biotech show that over half of the food we eat could have gone through genetic engineering.

16. Farmers grow food that has gone through genetic engineering on a large scale, covering around 130 million acres. 

(National Geographic)

Over the last few years, the growth of plants through biotechnology has increased massively all over the world. Biotechnology biology facts show that the scale has increased from 3.6 million acres in 1996 to a massive 130 million acres in 2018. These areas are spread across several countries, namely China, South Africa, Germany, Canada, Australia, Argentina, and Spain. 

17. Biotech crops are strong enough to withstand strong herbicides.

(National Geographic)

According to facts about green biotechnology, biotech crops have strong genes that enable them to withstand strong herbicides. Without herbicides, weeds can sap essential nutrients from plants, reducing the quality of produce. Fortunately, biotech has made it possible to kill unwanted plants while keeping the crops intact.

18. Farmers in the US grew over 80% of corn, soy, and cotton using biotechnology in 2012.

(USDA)

The United States saw a shift in the growth of soy, cotton, and corn in 2012, with biotechnology replacing normal crop farming. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) found the statistics in plant biotechnology for the plant to be as follows – corn 88%, cotton 94%, and soy 93%. 

Now, these figures might seem pretty shocking, but wait until you get a hold of our:

Shocking Biotech Startup Statistics

Biotech products go through rigorous testing. So, what eventually makes it to the market is a product that is safe for consumption. Companies should embrace the failure stage, as it can serve as a learning opportunity to invent even better products. 

19. Companies spend upwards of $350 million just to get a single drug to the market.

(Forbes)

The biotech stats don’t look viable for any business, right? Spending nearly $400 million on one drug might be a lot for many companies. You can well imagine someone trying to develop several drugs at once. That would translate into spending billions of dollars to get them on the market.   

But it’s not all bad news:

The lessons from the high production costs can be a learning process. By familiarizing themselves with the latest biotechnology industry trends, companies can look for ways to reduce their expenses without lowering the quality of products.  

Top Biotech Funding Stats

20. Corporate investors took part in funding rounds worth $8 billion in 2018. 

(Tech Crunch) 

In 2018, the funding for biotech ventures was at its highest, compared to previous years. According to statistics biotechnology, funding for startups was at $8 billion in 2018, compared to $4 billion in 2017.  

Although the expenses for getting biotech products on the market were high, it’s great to see that investors were still willing to inject funds into product development. The expenses may be high, but the rewards once the products pass testing can be huge.  

21. Global biotechnology funding was at $29 billion in 2018. 

(Tech Crunch) 

On a global scale, funding very nearly hit a whopping $30 billion in 2018. The figure was an increment from 2017 when funding was at $19 billion. The figures in the investment in biotechnology statistics show that biotechnology markets are expanding worldwide.

Top World Biotechnology Stats

22. Europe and the United States are the leading biotechnology regions in the world.

(Statista) 

Do you ever wonder which regions are leaders in biotechnology ventures? Well, statistics on global biotechnology show that Europe and the US are the leading   

24. The Chinese company WuXi AppTec had the highest IPO, at $1.3 billion. 

(Statista)

According to global biotech ipo statistics, China is the leader of the pack when it comes to biotech IPOs, with a mind-blowing $1.3 billion. Moderna came in second at $564 million, and Innovent Biologics third with $402 million.  

Surprising Facts vs. Fears on Biotechnology

25. 57% of Americans believe that GMO food is unsafe.

(International Food Information Council Food Foundation) 

Anti-GMO rumors are not new, a thing that has put a damper on scientific efforts fighting to eradicate world food shortage and disease. Shocking statistics on biotechnology show that more than half of Americans are skeptical about biotech foods.

With all the fear-mongering from anti-GM activists, it’s no wonder that there are so many Americans who are yet to embrace the technology. Many people think GMO multinationals are only out to maximize profits. Few believe that biotech will do anything to solve world hunger or disease outbreaks. 

As you can see, we cannot underestimate the value of educating people about what is true and what isn’t, hence the importance of statistics in biotechnology.

26. Biotechnology-derived foods might contain allergens. 

(National Geographic)

Facts and statistics biotech crops in developing countries show that there are genuine concerns that biotech food might contain allergens, which might be risky to kids with food allergies. There might have been a few hiccups in the beginning, especially with the Brazil nut saga which contained allergens.

However, researchers quickly abandoned the project once they realized it could pose danger to human beings. If you’re looking for biotechnology facts for kids, you’ll be happy to know that federal agencies have made testing for genetically engineered food mandatory rather than voluntary.

Agencies involved here are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). These organizations test for any toxins, allergen, and nutrient levels. 

27. Reviews from organizations like the FDA confirm that biotechnology food is safe. 

(International Food Information Council Foundation)

There are many fears regarding GMO foods, but cool facts about biotechnology show that it’s safe for consumption. One thing to note is that independent bodies like WHO or FDA are concerned about food safety, so they release non-biased reports on their findings. 

28. Researchers have so far conducted 1783 studies to establish GMO safety.

(International Food Information Council Foundation)

Scientists have conducted many tests, and good biotechnology facts show that there is no need to worry about safety. 

Of the cases that scientists studied, not a single one was unsafe for human beings or the environment. Note that the FDA tests each crop species before it hits the market.  

29. Biotechnology in agriculture statistics shows that 90% of animal feed comes from biotech crops.

(International Food Information Council Foundation)

In the US, billions of animals consume biotech crops. Scientists have gone a step further to examine trends in animal health before and after introducing GMO foods to farm animals. Biotech facts show that there are no health effects on animals, according to numerous research statistics and findings. 

Important Medicine Biotechnology Facts

30. The first FDA approved the first pharmaceutics drug in 1982.

(USA Today) 

Biotechnology scientists began experimenting with the production of human insulin in 1978. Biotechnology interesting facts show that the experiment was so successful that the FDA approved the drug in 1982. 

31. Scientists invented PCR in 1983.

(USA Today)

Thanks to PCR, researchers could analyze a single DNA strand in a matter of hours. According to facts about biotechnology in medicine, all that scientists required to amplify the DNA a billion times was just heat, a test tube, and several reagents. 

32. The biosensor technology can detect antibodies and infectious agents with 100% accuracy. 

(Lone Star)

Medical biotech statistics claim that biosensor technology provides 100% accuracy in disease detection. The breakthrough goes a long way into pinpointing the exact disease-causing culprit, hence providing the right diagnosis and treatment. 

Interesting Artificial Intelligence Biotech Statistics

33. At least 50% of Industry executives expect large-scale use of AI in healthcare by 2025.

(Emerj) 

Artificial intelligence application in healthcare is quickly becoming a reality. According to biotechnology stats, at least half of the participants believe that AI will target chronic conditions affecting the American population. Artificial intelligence statistics and trends also show that the future of the biotechnology industry in the US looks promising, with the possibility of eliminating or inventing better ways to manage chronic conditions. 

34. Projections suggest biopharma volumes might reach $10 billion by 2024.

(Biopharmatrend.com)

“How fast is biotechnology growing statistics  in AI?” 

That is the question on many people’s minds. 

And here’s the answer:

Although AI is still in its early stages, the application is attracting the attention of pharma leaders, and many will invest in its success. Applications here are likely to be drug discovery, diagnostics, genomics, medical imaging, and personal assistance.

FAQ

Q: How many biotech companies are there in the world?

A: Statistics about biotechnology claim there are around 7,725 biotech companies in the world. The companies engage in 487 business activities and you can find them in 10,794 sites around the globe. 

Q: How many biotech companies are there in the US?

Fun facts about biotechnology show there were 2,946 biotech businesses in the US as of 2019.

Q: Is the biotech industry growing?

According to statistics and facts about the biotechnology sector, the industry is growing. 2020 is likely to see a 2.2% growth in the industry. 

Key Takeaways

The biotechnology statistics above show there’s a huge need for biotechnology in the world. Biotechnology has successfully merged biology and technology to provide solutions in healthcare, agriculture, marine, and industrial processes. 

What’s more:

The industry’s growth rate is impressive. We are likely to see more advancements, especially in artificial intelligence biotech statistics.  

Bottom line:

Beware of false statements that many skeptics like to spread regarding the industry. Biotech products are safe to consume, as many institutions go to extreme lengths to ensure that they contain zero allergens or toxins. 

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