India leads the Asian pack in sending scientists and engineers to US


New Delhi: A report from National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) revealed that India continues to be the leading country in Asia to contribute the maximum number of scientists and engineers who migrate to the US for key research and development.

Notably, the number of Indian-born scientists and engineers residing in the USA rose from 21.6 million to 29 million from 2003 to 2013.

“The number of immigrant scientists and engineers went from 3.4 million to 5.2 million” in past 10 year, the report stated.

Asia contributes around 57 per cent of the immigrant scientists and engineers in USA. Only 20 per cent were born in North America (excluding the US), the Caribbean or South America.

Europe contributes a lowly 16 per cent while only six per cent came from Africa. Oceania’s share was below one per cent.

“Immigrants went from making up 16 per cent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 per cent,” the NCSES statement declared.

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.

However, USA witnessed a new trend since 2003 with the number of scientists and engineers from the Philippines increased by 53 per cent while the number from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, increased 34 per cent.

The NCSES report reported that the immigrant scientists and engineers were more focused to pursue post—baccalaureate degrees than their US-born counterparts.

Reportedly, in 2013, 32 per cent of immigrant scientists claimed of holding a post graduate degree as their maximum qualification while 29 per cent of US-born students had masters. 9 per cent immigrant students had a doctorate compared to 4 per cent of US-born counterparts.

The largest share of science students (18 per cent) worked in computer and mathematical sciences, while the second-largest share (eight per cent) worked in engineering.

Life scientist, computer and mathematical scientist, and social and related scientist  had the maximum immigrant employee between 2003 to 2013.