China tops the race of international student numbers in USA
Over the years, the number of Indian students in USA has shown a downward trend. Although the USA still remains the favourite study abroad destination for Indian students, an annual survey conducted by a reputed organization, says the number of Indian students in USA has witnessed a decline of 3.5% in the 2012-13 academic year as against 2011-12. The total number of Indian students in USA has gone down from 100,270 in 2011-12 to 96,754 in 2012-13.
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In spite of the decline, India retains its second position in the list of the top places of origin for international students in the US. The top three countries conributing to international student numbers in USA are China, India and South Korea. International students from these three countries in the USA comprise 49% of the total overseas pool.
China sent no students to the USA from the 1950s until 1974-75. In the 1980s, numbers of Chinese students in the US saw a steep rise, and in 1988-89, China replaced Taiwan as the leading place of origin for international students in USA. It retained its top position till1994-95 when Japan replaced it. In 1998-99, China became the leading sender of international students to the USA again for three years. In 2001-02, India became the top sender of students to the US, when the enrollments from India rose by a sharp 30%. India retained its position for eight years, through 2008-09. In 2009-10, China again became the top sending country, and continues to hold its leading place for the fourth year in a row. South Korea has continued to be in the top three league since 2001-02 when its economy saw a rebound.
According to the US Department of Commerce, international students contribute more than $24 billion to the US economy. The total number of international students in USA for the year 2012-13 has risen by a good 7% to register a record high of 8,19,644. Below is a graphical representation of the top 10 places of origin for international students in USA and a detailed analysis of the top three countries over the last 10 years.