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Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 11/15/2010

China overtakes India as No. 1 source of foreign students in U.S.

By Valerie Strauss

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that 2009-10 was the first year China was atop the list of countries that sent the most students to study in the United States. The information includes some new data on China.


China zoomed past India as the main source of foreign students coming to the United States to attend college, with a 30 percent jump in Chinese students in a single year, according to a new report released today.

The number of international students in the United States increased 2.9 percent in 2009-10 over the previous year, to 690,923 students. The University of Southern California hosted the most of any other school, and California was the leading state.

But there was a decline of 0.8 percent in the number of American students who studied abroad for credit last year (260,327) from the year before (262,416).

The data is part of the annual “Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange,” published by the Institute of International Education with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Open Doors is a comprehensive information resource on international students and scholars studying or teaching at higher education institutions in the United States, and U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit at their home colleges or universities.

China overtook India as the main source of foreign students in the United States, jumping 30 percent from 98,235 in 2008-09 to 127,628 last year. This is seen as a reflection of the growing Chinese economy. Most of the Chinese students in the United States are in graduate school, but there was a 50 percent increase in college freshmen last year over 2008-09.

The second-largest increase of foreign students last year from the year before were students from Saudi Arabia, which had a 25 percent jump, from 12,661 in 2008-9 to 15,810 in 2009-10.

India, which had been in the top spot in recent years, stayed nearly steady, with 104,897 students in 2009-10, up from 103,260 in 2008-09, a 1.6 percent increase.

China sent no students to the U.S. from the 1950s until 1974-75. In the 1980s, numbers of Chinese students grew dramatically, and in 1988-89, China displaced Taiwan as the leading sender and remained the leading place of origin until it was displaced by Japan in 1994-95. In 1998-99, China became the leading sender again until 2001-02. From 2001-02 to 2008-09, India was the only place of origin with more students in the United States.


Here are the top 10 states hosting foreign students in 2009-10:
1. University of Southern California -- Los Angeles - 7,987
2. University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign - 7,287
3. New York University 7,276
4. Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, Ind. - 6,903
5. Columbia University New York City - 6,833
6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - 6,095
7. University of California at Los Angeles - 5,685
8. Michigan State University, East Lansing - 5,358
9. University of Texas at Austin - 5,265
10. Boston University - 5,172

Here are the top 10 countries sending students to the United States and the percentage change from 2008-09 to 2009-10):
1. China 127,628 (up 30 percent)
2. India 104,897 (up 1.6 percent)
3. South Korea 72,153 (down 3.9 percent)
4. Canada 28,145 (down 5.2 percent)
5. Taiwan 26,685 (down 4.9 percent)
6. Japan 24,842 (down 15.1)
7. Saudi Arabia 15,810 (up 24.9)
8. Mexico 13,450 (down 9.4 percent)
9. Vietnam 13,112 (up 2. 3 percent)
10. Turkey 2,397 (up 2.0 percent)

Here are the top 10 states hosting foreign students in 2009-10 with the percentage change from 2008-09 to 2009-10:
1. California 94,279 (up 1.2 percent)
2. New York 76,146 (up 1.6 percent)
3. Texas 58,934 (up 1.3 percent)
4. Massachusetts 35,313 (up 4.4 percent)
5. Illinois 31,093 (up 4 percent)
6. Florida 29,708 (down 2.2 percent)
7. Pennsylvania 28,097 (up 2.1)
8. Michigan 24,214 (up 2.5 percent)
9. Ohio 22,370 (up 7.9 percent)
10. Indiana 18,569 (up 8.6 increase)

Other facts from the report:
*New international student enrollment – students enrolling for the first time at a U.S. institution in Fall 2009 – increased 1.3 percent over the previous year.

*There were 113,494 scholars from 187 places of origin teaching and conducting research at U.S. colleges and universities during the 2008-09 academic year.

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By Valerie Strauss  | November 15, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Research  | Tags:  china overtakes india, china tops india, foreign students, international students, international students increase, open doors  
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Comments

I wonder also if students are coming here from China because there is more freedom here.

Posted by: jlp19 | November 15, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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