Chinese & Indians Accounted for 47% of US International Students in 2020, Figures Show

China India United States Asia International Studies by Erudera News Mar 24, 2021

United States

47 percent of all international students in the United States during 2020 came from India and China, making Asia one of the most popular continents to send international students to the US, the latest official figures have shown.

Nevertheless, data have revealed that China sent fewer students in 2020 compared to 2019 due to COVID-19 developments, and the same happened with Indian students, -91,936 and -41,761, respectively.

Data from the annual report released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP), part of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), revealed there was a decrease in fresh overseas enrolment due to the COVID-19 impact.

According to the report, there were a total of 1.25 million active records in SEVIS for F-1 and M-1 students during 2020, a 17.86 percent drop from 2019, reports.

An F1 visa is issued to international students participating in an academic program or an English language program at any of the US universities or colleges, whereas the M-1 visa is issued to international students who attend vocational and technical schools.

During 2020, a 72 percent decrease compared to a year earlier was noted in the new international student enrollment, which includes students who were not enrolled in a study program at any of the US schools in the year earlier.

F-1 international student enrollment at US schools dropped by 91 percent during August 2020, whereas a 72 percent drop was seen in new M-1 international student enrollment.

According to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) data, there were 382,561 students from China and 207,460 students from India. Other top source countries of international students in the US include:

  • South Korea: 68,217
  • Saudi Arabia: 38,039
  • Canada: 35,508
  • Brazil: 34,892

In the same year, 552,188 F-1 and M-1 international students in 2020 were female, whereas 698,964 were male.

Among Indian students, figures have shown that 35 percent were females and 65 percent males. As per Chinese students, 47 percent were females, and 53 percent males.

Moreover, 44 percent of bachelor’s and master’s international students were female, 50 percent of students pursuing associate degrees were female, and 39 percent of international students seeking to study a Ph.D. were female during 2020.

The average female enrollment from the top 10 countries was 44 percent, while the average male enrollment 56 percent.

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