Among Asian countries, India continues to be the top country of birth for scientists and engineers who have made the US their destination for key research and development, shows the latest data.
According to a new report from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), India’s 2013 figure represented an 85 per cent increase from 2003 at 950,000 out of Asia’s total 2.96 million.
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,” the report noted.
Of the immigrant scientists and engineers in the US in 2013, 57 per cent were born in Asia and making a mark in the country.
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. The NCSES report also says that immigrant scientists and engineers were more likely to earn post-baccalaureate degrees than their US-born counterparts.
Surprisingly, in 2013, 32 per cent of immigrant scientists reported their highest degree was a master’s compared with 29 per cent of their US-born counterparts, while 9 per cent reported it was a doctorate compared to 4 per cent of their 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,” the report showed.
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