The Most Surprising Contract Research Organization Industry Statistics in 2024

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Navigating the thriving landscape of the Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry might seem sophisticated without a firm grip on its underlying statistics and trends. Unveiling the curtain of this dynamic industry, our blog post deciphers the invigorating world of contract research, armed with compelling industry statistics. Discover the propellers of growth, the investing potential, key market players, and significant challenges shaping the CRO Industry’s future trajectory. From tiny numerical trends to macroeconomic shifts, plunge into our comprehensive analysis to understand the CRO industry from a unique statistical perspective. Whether you’re a stakeholder, a prospective investor, or just curious about contract research, we have everything that you need to stay ahead of the curve.

The Latest Contract Research Organization Industry Statistics Unveiled

The global contract research organization market size was valued at USD 43.03 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% from 2021 to 2028.

Drawing attention to the impressive financial footprint of the Contract Research Organization (CRO) establishment, it is worth noting the robust value it commanded in 2020. Hitting a lofty USD 43.03 billion, it showcases not only the industry’s strength but also its tangible impact on the global economy.

But dollars and cents are not the only story here. The projected trajectory, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% from 2021 to 2028, whispers tales of vibrant expansion and dynamism. It signifies an industry on the cusp of accelerated growth, with opportunities stretching out over the horizon.

In the terrain of CRO industry statistics, these figures stand as twin peaks – emblematic of the financial clout of the sector and its potential to scale greater heights in the years to come. Whether for potential investors, industry insiders, aspiring employees or interested observers, these numbers serve as a guiding star, bathing the landscape of the CRO industry in illuminating light.

The global clinical trial market size was USD 44.5 billion in 2020 and is predicted to hit USD 69.5 billion by 2028.

Fit to illuminate the unsurpassed financial progression in the Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry, the noteworthy upward trajectory of the global clinical trial market size, from USD 44.5 billion in 2020 to an expected whopping USD 69.5 billion by 2028, stands strong. This illuminating figure serves as a testament to the prodigious growth and vital importance of CROs in contributing to the advancements in the medical and pharmaceutical landscapes.

The augmenting figures, acting as a fiscal beacon, speak volumes about the increasing investments and intensifying confidence in the competent hands of CROs. Such enormous financial projections provide a panoramic view of the spiraling demands for clinical research services filled by CROs globally.

In essence, this captivating statistic serves as a pulse check on the thriving health and unprecedented dynamism of the Contract Research Organization industry. Not merely a number, it is a financial narrative, dramatically playing out on a global stage, reflecting the burgeoning value and strategic importance of CROs in the years to come.

North America held the largest share in the global market in 2020.

Illuminate the prominent role North America played in the Contract Research Organization industry in 2020, owning the lion’s share of the global market. This supremacy underlines the region’s potent influence in directing trends and shaping the sector’s course. With this massive market share, North America becomes a noteworthy hub for innovation and progress in the Industry, giving away crucial pointers for emerging markets. Moreover, understanding this statistic allows us to comprehend the vast opportunities presented by the North American market, potentially steering strategic decision-making and forecasting future industry growth.

Oncology held the largest share among the therapeutic areas in the CRO market in 2020.

Highlighting Oncology’s dominant share of the Contract Research Organization (CRO) market in 2020 underscores the pivotal role this therapeutic area plays in the broader industry landscape. It not only underscores the ongoing demand for oncology clinical research but also foreshadows where future investment in the CRO industry is likely headed. This insight is invaluable for stakeholders, as understanding this trend can aid in developing strategic decisions and adapting to the dynamic market environment. Moreover, the growth of Oncology in the CRO landscape signifies the increasing attention and resources being devoted to cancer research and treatment development, reaffirming healthcare’s commitment to combating this critical disease.

Early-phase development services is anticipated to witness the fastest growth from 2021 to 2028.

The rapid acceleration projected for early-phase development services from 2021 to 2028 shines a powerful spotlight on a crucial trend within the Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry dynamics. It underscores the increasing demand and necessity for earlier stages of clinical trials, potentially driving robust market expansion in the upcoming years. This prediction not only frames a vibrant picture of the CRO landscape, but also points to the emphasis and growth opportunities for companies focusing on those initial research stages. It becomes imperative for industry stakeholders to align their strategies to this growth trajectory, which could shape the competitive scenario of the CRO industry. Coupled with the evolution of scientific explorations and advancements, this statistic shapes the narrative of a thriving and constantly evolving industry.

The global eClinical solutions market size was USD 6.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 14.7 billion by 2028.

Painting the landscape of the ever-evolving Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry, we delve into the intriguing realm of eClinical solutions. Residing at the core of this thriving sector is the financial indicator that has left technology pundits in admiration. Imagine, the global eClinical solutions market, valued at USD 6.1 billion in 2020, projected to catapult to a staggering USD 14.7 billion by 2028.

Venturing beneath the surface of this statistic presents us with intricate insights. Firstly, it underscores the CRO industry’s increasing reliance on cutting-edge technology to manage and streamline clinical trials’ complexities. Clearly, the anticipated twofold market expansion is not merely monetary in value but symbolic of the tech-driven momentum that the industry is adopting.

Moreover, witnessing such a substantial market forecast offers a window into the potential business opportunities and competitive landscape within the CRO industry. This is a wake-up call, urging industry participants and budding entrepreneurs to equip themselves with the necessary know-how and strategies to capitalize on this growth.

In essence, these figures not only illuminate the trail the CRO industry is blazing but also signify its future trajectory. It showcases the intertwined dance between technological advancements and industry trends that will dictate the tempo of the CRO industry in the coming years. Let’s get ready to tap into the rhythm of this dance.

The top 10 CROs around the world account for around 56% of the market.

Highlighting that a lion’s share of 56% of the global market is held by the top 10 Contract Research Organizations (CROs) serves to underscore their dominance and influence in the industry. This data nugget casts a spotlight on the significant power disparity within the CRO landscape, enabling readers to comprehend the economic structure and market concentration of this sector. In essence, it paints a vivid picture of an industry where the heavyweights hold substantial market clout, possibly shaping trends, setting prices, dictating quality standards, and steering the direction of the overall industry.

Anticipated growth of CROs in developing countries has been projected to reach a high of 11.5%.

Undeniably, this statistic crystallizes the burgeoning momentum characterizing the CRO industry in developing nations. This projected ascension to an impressive 11.5% growth shines a spotlight on the fertile opportunities available for exploration. Not only does this indicate a robust expansion within the industry, but it also highlights the shifting dynamic towards outsourcing research activities in thriving economies. It underpins the increasingly global footprint of the Contract Research Organization industry and indicates an essential trend towards cost-effective, yet high-quality research solutions. So in a nutshell, its stark relevance illustrates the bursting potential and evolving narrative of the CRO marketplace.

China is the fastest-growing CRO market within the Asia-Pacific region.

Shining a spotlight on the gripping narrative of the CRO industry, this statistic serves as a riveting plot twist. Positioned as the arena’s rising star, China’s exponential growth underscores the rapid transformation of the Contract Research Organization (CRO) landscape within the Asia-Pacific region. Its exhilarating ascent fuels a vibrant market dynamics, rendering it a potent force to reckon with, catalyzing innovations, and shaping industry trends. This progression tantalizingly teeters on the verge of redefining the global CRO market, underscoring China’s increasing influence and inviting companies to recalibrate their strategies to harness the unfolding opportunities.

Medical device companies are anticipated to register high usage of CRO services, at a CAGR of 7.4% between 2021 and 2028.

The projection of a 7.4% CAGR for CRO services utilized by medical device companies between 2021 and 2028 underscores a dynamic, evolving trend within the Contract Research Organization Industry. This statistic essentially maps an exciting growth trajectory, heralding significant implications for both industry players and stakeholders. With such a promising growth rate, the focus on this sector could potentially usher in increased investment, heightened research and development activities, and a larger competitive landscape. The statistic can, therefore, be considered a guiding star, charting out the potential market expansion and business opportunities that lie on the horizon for entities within this industry space. Indeed, the power of such insight should not be underestimated. It can drive strategic planning and decision-making, all while shaping future trends and landscapes in the Contract Research Organization industry.

About 50% of clinical trials are conducted by CROs.

Serving as a powerful testament to the pivotal role Contract Research Organizations (CROs) play in clinical research, the figure of 50% signifies a strong reliance by the pharmaceutical sector on their expertise. These CROs hold the reins of half the clinical trials, underlining their capacity to maneuver complex research processes. This percentage vividly paints the CRO industry’s footprint in this field, exhibiting the trust and confidence bestowed upon them in the sphere of medical advancement. This figure ultimately empowers our understanding of the indispensable position occupied by CROs in the quest for health solutions, and their accelerating influence in shaping the future of clinical trials.

The market in Europe is expected to reach USD 15.76 billion by 2025.

Evidently, this forecast of the European market reaching a gigantic USD 15.76 billion valuation by 2025 is an enticing global trend in the Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry. It paints a picture of enormous growth that holds significant strategic implications for businesses operating in, or considering entering this sector. Envisaging the potential scale of this market offers opportunities for businesses to strategize their operations, be it expanding existing services, targeting new verticals, or mobilizing resources for the anticipated demand surge. This projection not only reaffirms Europe as a key player in the CRO landscape, but it also hints at a brighter, financially robust future for industry stakeholders. In essence, it’s an encouraging signal to potential investors, indicating a flourishing industry that’s ripe for incremental investment. Undoubtedly, the foresight embedded in this statistic can effectively shape decision-making for entrepreneurs, investors, and policy-makers in the CRO industry, ultimately contributing to its evolving narrative.

The CRO market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% from 2021 to 2028.

Envision being a stakeholder in the Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry, where the arena of growth potential is extensive. Now, imagine this growth is especially substantial in the Asia Pacific region, where the CRO market predicts an expansion rate of 8.4% as per compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2028. Now, does that get your heart racing?

Shedding light on the evidence, the aforementioned statistic adds a vibrant stroke of excitement on the canvas of CRO Industry analysis. It’s not just a number; it’s an insightful marker of where the industry will stand in the future, particularly in an economically vibrant and diverse space like the Asia Pacific region.

Highlighting this growth rate encapsulates the progressive evolution of the CRO sector, opening up a dialogue about investment opportunities, concerns about potential market challenges, and strategies for businesses to leverage. It serves as a beacon for global corporations to craft strategies, create business plans, or even redirect investment focus towards this booming region.

In essence, the pulsating growth at a CAGR of 8.4% in the Asia Pacific region signifies an oncoming wave of advancements and opportunities that stakeholders in the CRO industry can surf on, leading to a promising and prosperous future. This statistic is not just valuable, it’s a game-changer and an eye-opener for those engaged in or following the ongoing saga of the CRO industry.


The data reflected within these Contract Research Organization Industry Statistics serves as a crucial quantifiable snapshot of the current and potential future health of the sector. Fueled by advancements in scientific research, innovative technologies, and an increasing demand for outsourcing clinical trials, the CRO industry is experiencing a significant surge. A careful analysis of these statistics can guide businesses, investors, and stakeholders in making informed strategic decisions, ensuring sustainable growth and success within the ever-evolving global landscape of the CRO industry.


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What is a Contract Research Organization (CRO)?

A Contract Research Organization (CRO) is a company that provides support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in the form of research services outsourced on a contract basis.

What are the key segments in the CRO industry?

The key segments within the CRO industry are early-phase development services, clinical research services, laboratory services, and consulting services. These are often further divided into phases I, II, III, and IV of clinical trials.

What are the projected growth rates for the CRO industry?

Although growth rates fluctuate, it is projected that the CRO market could experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 6.7% to 7.2% from 2021 to 2028, indicating a robust and growing industry.

What are the major challenges facing the CRO industry?

Key challenges in the CRO industry include operational and logistical complications, outsourcing risks, increasing regulation and legislation, high costs associated with clinical trials, and data security and privacy issues.

Who are the main players in the Contract Research Organization industry?

Some major players in the CRO industry include Quintiles IMS Holdings, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc., PRA Health Sciences, Inc., and Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. These organizations play a major role in providing crucial research services to the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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