New NAFSA Economic Impact Analysis: International students contribute $36.9 Billion to the U.S Economy

 

New data recently released by NAFSA: Association of International Educators indicate that the more than one million international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities during the 2016-17 academic year contributed $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy, while at the same time supporting more than 450,000 jobs. These numbers represent a 12.4% increase in job support and creation and a 12.5% increase in dollars contributed to the economy compared to the previous academic year.

NAFSA’s full report shows the benefits of international students in the United States, including enrollment data, economic contributions, and jobs supported. Particularly for jobs supported, the report finds that for every seven international students enrolled, three U.S. jobs are created.

Jason Baumgartner of Indiana University’s Office of International Services conducted the economic analysis project. The report was completed using enrollment data from the Institute of International Education's (IIE) Open Doors 2017 report, which is produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In addition, tuition and expense data were pulled from the U.S. Education Department's National Center of Educational Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and jobs data from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and Bureau of Economic Analysis.

NAFSA conducts an annual state-by-state and congressional district analysis of the economic contributions of international students and their families to the U.S. economy. This year, 10 states, including California, New York, Massachusetts, Texas and Pennsylvania, broke the $1 billion mark in contributions from international students. These states received a large contribution to their economy from spending by international students on living expenses, tuition and fees. The analysis also shows that with every seven enrolled international students, three U.S. jobs are created by spending in higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications and health insurance.

State- and district-specific information can be accessed here.