Do the Math

Immigrants make up high percentage of scientists and engineers.


The United States relies heavily on immigrants for its scientists and engineers, according to recently released data from the 1993 National Survey of College Graduates. The survey finds that foreign-born people hold 9.8 percent of all science and engineering bachelor degrees in the United States and 23 percent of all doctorates. And 28 percent of the doctorate holders engaged in commercial R&D are foreign-born.

Immigrants are less common in the social sciences–13.1 percent of all doctorates. But they supply many of the doctorates in the so-called hard sciences: 25.9 percent in chemistry, 39.4 percent in computer science, and a whopping 50.6 percent in civil engineering. The percentage of foreign-born scientists and engineers with doctorates is highest among the youngest age groups (28.4 percent of 31- to 35-year-olds).