India tops Asia in sending scientists, engineers to US

  • PTI

    October 6, 2015 | 01:41 PM

India is the top country of birth among Asian countries for immigrant scientists and engineers in US, with 950,000 out of the continent's total 2.96 million, according to a new report.

India's 2013 figure represented an 85 per cent increase from 2003, the report from the National Science Foundation's National Centre for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) found.

Also since 2003, the number of scientists and engineers from the Philippines increased 53 per cent and the number from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, increased 34 per cent.

From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million. An important factor in that increase: over the same time period, the number of immigrant scientists and engineers went from 3.4 million to 5.2 million.

Immigrants went from making up 16 per cent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 per cent, according to the report.

In 2013, the latest year for which numbers are available, 63 per cent of US immigrant scientists and engineers were naturalised citizens, while 22 per cent were permanent residents and 15 per cent were temporary visa holders.

Of the immigrant scientists and engineers in the US in 2013, 57 per cent were born in Asia, 20 per cent were born in North America (excluding the US), Central America, the Caribbean or South America.

As many as 16 per cent were born in Europe, 6 per cent were born in Africa and less than 1 per cent were born in Oceania, the report said.

The NCSES report found that immigrant scientists and engineers were more likely to earn post-baccalaureate degrees than their US-born counterparts.

In 2013, 32 per cent of immigrant scientists reported their highest degree was a master's (compared to 29 per cent of US-born counterparts) and 9 per cent reported it was a doctorate (compared to 4 per cent of US-born counterparts).

The most common broad fields of study for immigrant scientists and engineers in 2013 were engineering, computer and mathematical sciences, and social and related sciences.

Over 80 per cent of immigrant scientists and engineers were employed in 2013, the same percentage as their US-born counterparts.

Among the immigrants in the science and engineering workforce, the largest share (18 per cent) worked in computer and mathematical sciences, while the second-largest share (8 per cent) worked in engineering.

Three occupations - life scientist, computer and mathematical scientist, and social and related scientist - saw substantial immigrant employment growth from 2003 to 2013.

Data presented in the NCSES report is from the 2013 SESTAT, an integrated data system that provides a comprehensive picture of individuals educated or employed in science and engineering fields.

India is the top country of birth among Asian countries for immigrant scientists and engineers in US, with 950,000 out of the continent's total 2.96 million: Report