Overseas students contribute US$27bn to US economy

20, November, 2014

International students and their dependents contributed US$26.8 billion to the US economy in the 2013/14 academic year, according to research released by Nafsa: Association of International Educators.

The Economic Benefits of International Student Enrollment to the United States - A Ten-Year Trend, Source: Nafsa

The economic analysis for the year, based on the recent Open Doors data showing a record number of 886,052 international students at higher education level in the country last year, shows a 12 per cent increase in the value of students in the country, compared with the US$24 billion recorded in the previous academic year. Spending by international students in the US has more than doubled in the last ten years.

The total contribution of US$26.8 billion by international students came from: US19.7 billion from tuition and fees, US$16.2 billion from living expenses and US$442 million from dependents’ living expenses, less US support of US$9.6 billion.

The study also estimates that for every seven international students enrolled, three US jobs are created or supported, totalling 340,007 jobs – an 8.5 per cent increase over 2012/13; some 123,465 jobs were directly created/supported and 216,542 were indirectly created/supported, according to the research.

California, the largest host state of international students in the Open Doors report, had the largest contribution by state at more than US$4 billion, followed by New York at US$3.3 billion and Massachusetts at US$1.9 billion.

In a document presenting the research findings, Nafsa said that as well as the economic contribution, international students also build bridges between Americans and other nationalities, bring global perspectives into US classrooms and research labs, support US innovation and support programming and services on campus for all students.

Nafsa has published an International Students Economic Value Tool with detailed data and analysis.

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