We counted the original research papers published worldwide in 1970, 1975, 1980, and 1985 as listed in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts. The numbers grew from 7772 papers in 1970 to 14,302 papers in 1985, corresponding to a doubling time of 18.3 yr. In general the growth of astronomical papers increases with the distance of the objects from us, ranging from a doubling time of eight years for galaxies and cosmology to a decline for planetary research. The peak of interest has shifted from the planetary system in 1970-75 to stars in 1980-85. An exception to the pattern is high-energy sources, which show no growth in radio sources, quasars, pulsars, and cosmic rays, and only a slow growth in X-rays and γ-rays; this constancy is mostly due to a lack of new instrumentation.The American papers show parallel effects except that only the field of stars is growing (slightly) more rapidly than abroad. Research in interstellar matter, high-energy sources, and the planetary system is growing much more slowly than abroad. The doubling time for American papers is 26.2 yr and the American fraction of worldwide astronomical papers has decreased from 38% in 1970 to a current 32%.