I think the real problem with this post will be presentation. I have an Excel spreadsheet that shows U.S. federal funding for reseach by sector, and I want to show the growth rates and doubling times. However, the time series for some sectors differs, for a variety of reasons. So, please be patient with me.
I will put the figures in the extended post below, as well as some analysis, and report the topline findings here. In a later post I will do the same for subcategories. I think it will look messy. The purpose is to see what choices are being made, so we can compare funding differences to outputs--the numbers of academic publications and patents in each field.
Mathematics and computer sciences have seen the greatest growth, with a CAGR of 10.54% and a doubling time of 6.92 years. Strangely, physical sciences (including astronomy, chemistry and physics) fared second worst, with a CAGR of 5.14% and a doubling time of 13.83 years. However, it did start with the second highest base total, if that's any justification... Slowest growth in federal research funding was experienced in social sciences, with a CAGR of 4.82%, which gives a doubling time of 14.72 years.
Update: I had to recalculate all the stats to account for inflation, converting all $ figures to 2006 USD. It changes everything...