Which Countries Have the Most Quantum Computing Companies

High-income countries started research early, but middle-income countries are catching up
John Potter
John Potter

May 15, 2023

A globe made of points of light
Quantum computing is going global. Getty

Most high-income nations have begun investing in quantum computing research, independently or in public-private partnerships. Even many middle-income countries have initiated pilot quantum computing programs. However, countries encounter challenges in obtaining the resources and expertise needed for a quantum research initiative whatever their gross domestic product (GDP).

Overcoming these challenges is critically important for any country seeking to remain competitive in the quantum computing field. In cases where a country's commercial sector is underdeveloped, the government often spearheads a national quantum initiative. Such initiatives require significant funding and a competent national entity willing to take the lead and work closely with academia, industry, and other public institutions.  

Despite these challenges, over 20 governments worldwide have launched national quantum initiatives since 2009, investing over $30 billion in the field. These significant investments have the potential

to drive the development of spinoffs that can make significant contributions to quantum technology while fostering innovation.

Countries pursuing quantum research can be broken down into GDP groups as follows.

Higher-Income Countries

Except for Mexico, Turkey, and Indonesia, all countries with a GDP of over $1 trillion have launched national quantum initiatives. This category includes China, Japan, India, Canada and the U.S., which invest the most funds into quantum research. However, it also includes Germany, the U.K., France, Russia, Italy, Brazil, Australia, South Korea, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands (in order of GDP). Brazil and Spain instigated their national quantum initiatives last year.

Most of these countries also have a vibrant commercial sector involved in quantum research. The number of private quantum computing companies in many of these countries is relatively large compared to other countries. The U.S. has 350+, the U.K. 100+, Germany 100+, Canada 80+, France 75+, China 35+, Japan 35+, the Netherlands 35+, India 20+ and Spain 15+. 

Middle-Income Countries

Similarly, nearly half of the countries with a GDP between $500 billion and $1 trillion have also invested in a national quantum initiative. These countries include Switzerland, Taiwan, Sweden, Thailand and Israel. The countries in this category that have yet to pursue a national quantum initiative include Poland, Argentina, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, UAE, and Nigeria. Nonetheless, it's important to note that most of these countries have at least one commercial company involved in quantum research. Poland has 15+, Belgium 5+, Ireland 5+, Argentina 1 and Norway 1.

Not coincidentally, aside from China, Israel is the country that invests the most heavily as a percentage of GDP, spending 0.082% of its total GDP on quantum computing. 

Lower-Income Countries

Austria, Singapore, South Africa, Philippines, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and Hungary are countries with a smaller GDP that are involved in quantum computing. Not surprisingly, countries with lower GDPs, especially latecomers to quantum computing, often strive to establish a market niche.  However, many of these countries also have commercial companies devoted to quantum research. Austria has 5+,  Denmark 20+, Finland 15+ and New Zealand 2.

GDP Versus Workforce

While it's undoubtedly true that most high-income countries have a well-established quantum computer initiative, many middle-income countries are also moving in that direction. However, the impetus toward quantum research funding arguably has less to do with a country's GDP than its workforce and intellectual capital. As this discrepancy becomes increasingly noticeable, it's a safe bet that many middle-income governments will begin to fund workforce training for the industry.

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