Social Innovation

These countries have the most female inventors

Five lightbulbs hanging from fixture.

In Cuba, over half of all registered patent applicants were women in 2021. Image: UNSPLASH/Daniel Herron

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Social Innovation?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Innovation is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


  • Data from the World Intellectual Property Organization shows the share of female inventors in applicants for international patents in 2021.
  • Cuba and the Philippines were the highest, with 53% of applicants in Cuba and 38% in the Philippines being female.
  • The global average was 17%.

The share of female inventors among applicants for international patents was highest in Cuba and the Philippines in 2021, according to data by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Worldwide, the share of women applicants stood at only 17 percent. Cuba, which only irregularly reports figures to Wipo, very much exceeded the global average with more than half of all registered patent applicants being women in 2021, as did the Philippines, where last year 38 percent of inventors were female.

Portugal was the highest-ranked European country in rank 3, followed by Romania in rank 6 and Spain in rank 10. Spanish-speaking countries were featured heavily among the top 10 and also included Costa Rica, Peru and Chile.


What is the World Economic Forum doing to champion social innovation?

Ranking above average was China at 24 percent of female inventors. Other major European countries like Germany and the UK, but also Italy and Sweden, stayed behind the global average. The United States and France ranked about average.

One of the poorest performance was given by Japan with only 10 percent of women inventors. Similarly low scores were achieved by India, the UAE and Indonesia.

The countries with the most female inventors.
This chart shows the share of women inventors among applicants for international patents in selected countries in 2021. Image: Statista
Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Social InnovationEquity, Diversity and Inclusion
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

How these social innovators harness community and collaboration to help create system change

Sophia Otoo and Francois Bonnici

May 1, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum