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Indians in USA

Indians in USA

Analysis of data developed by the Census Bureau shows that there currently more than 1 million Asian Indians in America. Between 1980 and 1990, the community grew by 125.6 percent. The Vietnamese community, which is only three quarters the size, grew by 134 percent during the same period.

With a mean family income of $59,777, the highest of any Asian group in America, and with an average per capital income that is more than 25 percent higher than the national average and second only to Japanese Americans among all ethnic groups, Asian Indians' economic power in America is indisputable. In 1980, Asian Indians lagged behind both the Japanese and Filipinos in median household income.

Further analysis of census data shows where Asian Indians' economic power is most likely to be employed politically. While the ethnic group is widely dispersed in America, there are populations in excess of 50,000 in five states: California New York, Illinois, Texas and New Jersey.

A closer look shows significant Asian Indian populations residing in the following metropolitan areas:

Metropolitan Areas Indian Population
Boston-Lawrence-Salem, MA 16,549
Chicago-Gary-Lake Country, IL 59,046
Dallas, Ft. Worth, TX 17,831
Detroit-Ann Arbor, MI 18,509
Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX 26,559
Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, CA 68,887
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY 199,010
Philadelphia-Wilmington-Trenton 26,120
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA 35,533

In the realm of education, the Census Bureau data shows that 87.5 percent of Asian Indians in America have completed high school with 62 percent having some college education. More than 58 percent hold Bachelor or higher degrees, which is the highest percentage among all Asian-American ethnic groups.

Basic Facts

  • Total population of United states - 331,449,281*
  • Indian American Community - 1,678,765*
  • Percentage of Indian Americans in Asian American Population - 16.4%
  • Percentage Asian Americans in US population - 3.6%
  • Percentage of Indain Americans of the total population of US - 0.6%
* 2000 census

Facts about Indians in USA

50% of H-1B visas issued each year go to Indians. The US consulate in Chennai (India) issues the highest number of visas anywhere in the world.


Center for Immigration Studies, Washington D.C

  • 4 out of 10 startups in Silicon Valley are started by Indians and they account for 15% of employees in technology firms.
  • About 300,000 Indian Americans work in technology firms in California's Silicon Valley. The average income of Indian Americans in that region is estimated to be $125,000 a year.
  • The estimated annual buying power of Indian Americans in the US is around $20 billion.
  • Indians are running Fortune 500 companies. Rono Dutta is president of United Airlines, and Rakesh Gangwal is president and CEO of US Airways. Calcutta-born Rajat Gupta, a member of the American Indian Foundation, is managing director of consulting giant McKinsey & Co.
  • About one-third of the engineers in Silicon Valley are of Indian descent, while 7 per cent of valley high-tech firms are led by Indian CEOs. Some successes are well known, such as Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Sabeer Bhatia, who founded HotMail and sold it to Microsoft for $400 million.
  • The number of Indian American New Economy millionaires is in the thousands. Massachusetts' Gururaj Deshpande, co-founder of a number of network-technology companies, is worth between $4 billion and $6 billion.
  • Other prominent Indians who have become symbols of success for the Indian community are Dr Kalyani Chawla who became the first Indian American to fly in a US space shuttle; Walt Disney paid Manoj Night Shyamalan $2.5 million for the screenplay of the movie The Sixth Sense. Two Indians, Har Gobind Khurana of MIT and the late S. Chandrashekhar have gone on to win the Noble prize in medicine and physics.

Students in USA

According to the most recent data provided by the Institute of International Education (IIE), India have moved to the top position for being the source of international students to the United States. The report for the academic year 2001/02 states that the number of Indians studying in the US is 66,836. This figure represents a 22% increase from 2001. As a result of this increase India has surpassed China as the leading sending country. India's 66,836 students now represent 12% of the total number of international students in the United States.

Indian students in the United States over the years

Year Number
2001/02 66,836
2000/01 54,664
1999/00 42,337

Despite the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the total number of international students in 2002 reached an all time record high of 582,996. This figure is a 6.4% increase from the previous year, and constitutes about 4% of the total student population in the country. International students contribute nearly $12 billion dollars to the U.S. economy in money spent on tuition, living expenses, and related costs. Nearly 75% of all international student funding comes from personal and family sources or other sources outside of the United States. Department of Commerce data describe U.S. higher education as the country's fifth largest service sector export.

Figures for students from different countries show interesting trends. With a 22% increase in US enrollments by Indian students, India has surpassed China for the first time as the leading sending country. This increase can be attributed to several factors. The main reason definitely being that the Indian middle class is today larger and more affluent than ever before.

China, which had been the leading sending country for the previous three years, increased its figure from 2001 by only 6% to 63,211 (compared to a 10% increase in 2000/01). The Republic of Korea is the third-leading sender, increasing by 7% to 49,046 students, marking the third year of large increases, after decreases in the late 1990s reflecting the Asian economic crises. Japan, which had been the leading sending country from 1995/96 until 1998/99, when it was surpassed by China, showed a meager increase of 0.7% (with 46,810) and slipped to the fourth-leading country.

Ranking of International students to the United States (Top 10 countries)

Rank Country Number
1 India 66,836
2 China 63,211
3 Korea 49,046
4 Japan 46,810
5 Taiwan 28,930
6 Canada 26,514
7 Mexico 12,518
8 Turkey 12,091
9 Indonesia 11,614
10 Thailand 11,606

The most popular fields of study for international students in the U.S. are business and management (20%) and engineering (15%). Thirteen percent of international students are studying mathematics and computer sciences, the fastest growing major - with a 13% increase from last year, building on the previous year's increase of 18%. One hundred and fifty U.S. colleges and universities hosted 1,000 or more international students. In 2001/02, there were 29 campuses that hosted more than 3,000 international students each. After four years as number one, New York University has been surpassed as the leading host institution by the University of Southern California.

According to Open Doors 2004, the annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the number of international students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions decreased by 2.4% in 2003/04 to a total of 572,509, from 586,323 in 2002-03. The following data has been obtained from the India Country Fact Sheet in the Open Doors 2004 report.

But, India continues to remain the largest sending country of origin for the 3rd year, and the number of Indian students in USA climbed by 7% over the prior year, to a total of 79,736 in 2003/04, offsetting decreases from a number of other countries which experienced sharp declines. However, India's rate of increase in 2003/04 has slowed from the prior year's dramatic 12% growth. Total enrollments fell by 5% for students from China (still the second largest sending country with 61,765).

Of the 74,603 students from India, 79.0% were graduate students, 17.0% undergraduate and 4.0% other.

Almost one in 7 foreign student in the United States is Indian, making them the largest foreign student group in the country in 2006, even though their numbers dipped 5 percent from the previous year.

Texas is by far the most popular state for Indian foreign students, followed by New York, California and Illinois. However, Indians constitute a higher proportion of the total foreign student body in South Dakota, Mississippi and Louisiana. Indians don't take to U.S. islands, however. The only areas where Indians did not make the top 10 list of foreign students are Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico. They did nudge into 7th place in the Virgin Isles, but only with 3 students.

Foreign Student Rank Indian Students in USA State Students Proportion of Foreign Students
1 Texas 10,896 23.0%
2 New York 7,215 11.6%
4 California 6,682 8.9%
1 Illinois 4,589 18.3%
1 Ohio 3,895 21.7%
1 Pennsylvania 3,422 15.0%
1 Michigan 3,388 16.2%
1 New Jersey 2,855 22.7%
1 Florida 2,272 8.7%
3 Massachussetts 2,243 8.0%
1 Virginia 2,082 16.7%
1 Indiana 2,079 15.8%
1 Georgia 1,816 15.0%
1 Arizona 1,669 16.7%
1 Louisiana 1,589 23.6%
2 Maryland 1,524 11.3%
1 Alabama 1,414 22.2%
1 Missouri 1,339 14.0%
2 North Carolina 1,251 13.9%
1 South Carolina 736 20.7%
1 West Virginia 555 11.4%
2 District of Columbia 453 5.8%
1 New Mexico 440 20.5%
7 Washington 367 3.4%
Source:Open Doors, Institute of International Education 2006

Data of Indian Students in USA

year No of Students from India in USA Indian Students as a % of total Foreign Students in USA
2003/04 79,736 13.90%
2002/03 74,603 12.70%
2001/02 66,836 11.50%
2000/01 54,664 9.90%
1999/00 42,337 8.20%
1998/99 37,482 7.60%
1997/98 33,818 7.00%
1996/97 30,641 6.70%
1995/96 31,743 7.00%
1994/95 33,537 7.40%
1993/94 34,796 7.70%

Graph of Indian Students in USA

indian students in usa graph
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