As less international students head to US colleges the share of Asian students increases

Asian students, with Chinese students at the front, are proud to be the largest distributor of international students in the US. Last year they shared over 68% of the total number of foreign students in US colleges, with Chinese ones counting for over 32% of the total.

But ironically, as the US saw a decreased number of new international students coming in per annum, Asian students increased their share of the international student body population.

In 2016/17, a large number of 734,309 out of 1,078,822 overseas students came from Asian countries. The previous year, 689,525 international students out of 1,043,839 (66%) that were seeking a degree in US came from the Asian continent.

The first thing to be noted is that Asian students’ annual growth is slowing down, which is the case with most of the study origin countries. Between the 2013/14 and 2014/15 academic years the annual growth was 10.3%, between the next two academic years the annual growth was 9.9%, whereas between 2015/16 and 2016/17 the annual growth was even lower, just 6.5%.

However, despite the annual growth deceleration, Asian students’ share of international students in the US increased. In 2014/15, they amounted to 64.3% of overseas students enrolled in US colleges. The next year the percentage of them rose to 66%, while last year in 2016/17 Asians counted for over 68% of international students.

International students in the US saw a decline in new enrollments in the 2016/17 academic year for the first time in many years. This decline touched almost every country of origin, including those which counted for the highest number of international students. Knowing that traditionally the Asian students maintained the highest portion for years on, it would be expected that their drop to amount for the most part of the fall. In fact, China, India and Saudi Arabia, some of the biggest contributors on Asian overseas students in the US, felt some of the highest drop in the number of students in US colleges. But interestingly their share of international students in the US is only getting larger, meaning that will still be the number one distributor of students in US.

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