Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Table 262. Foreign students enrolled in institutions of higher education in the United States, by continent, region, and selected countries of origin: Selected years, 1980-81 through 2010-11
Continent, region, and selected countries of origin 1980-81 1985-86 1990-91 1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Total 311,880 100.0 343,780 100.0 407,272 100.0 453,787 100.00 547,873 100.0 564,766 100.0 623,805 100.0 671,616 100.0 690,923 100.0 723,277 100.0
Africa 38,180 12.2 34,190 9.9 23,803 5.8 20,844 4.6 34,217 6.2 36,308 6.4 35,654 5.7 36,937 5.5 37,062 5.4 36,890 5.1
East Africa 6,260 2.0 6,730 2.0 7,592 1.9 7,596 1.7 13,516 2.5 13,635 2.4 12,664 2.0 10,411 1.6 9,872 1.4 8,863 1.2
Kenya 1,930 0.6 1,720 0.5 2,357 0.6 2,934 0.6 6,229 1.1 6,559 1.2 5,838 0.9 5,877 0.9 5,384 0.8 4,666 0.6
Central Africa 1,130 0.4 1,540 0.4 1,647 0.4 1,346 0.3 1,859 0.3 2,825 0.5 3,405 0.5 2,819 0.4 2,872 0.4 2,831 0.4
North Africa 7,310 2.3 5,980 1.7 4,541 1.1 3,422 0.8 5,184 0.9 3,770 0.7 3,858 0.6 4,229 0.6 4,941 0.7 5,420 0.7
Southern Africa 1,480 0.5 2,360 0.7 2,835 0.7 2,657 0.6 3,304 0.6 2,232 0.4 2,095 0.3 5,613 0.8 5,313 0.8 5,330 0.7
West Africa 22,000 7.1 17,580 5.1 7,178 1.8 5,818 1.3 10,346 1.9 13,846 2.5 13,632 2.2 13,837 2.1 14,064 2.0 14,446 2.0
Nigeria 17,350 5.6 13,710 4.0 3,714 0.9 2,093 0.5 3,820 0.7 6,192 1.1 6,222 1.0 6,256 0.9 6,568 1.0 7,148 1.0
                                         
Asia 94,640 30.3 156,830 45.6 229,825 56.4 259,893 57.3 302,058 55.1 327,785 58.0 380,465 61.0 415,000 61.8 435,667 63.1 461,903 63.9
East Asia 51,650 16.6 80,720 23.5 146,017 35.9 166,717 36.7 189,371 34.6 197,576 35.0 223,306 35.8 240,952 35.9 261,125 37.8 286,925 39.7
China 2,770 0.9 13,980 4.1 39,597 9.7 39,613 8.7 59,939 10.9 62,582 11.1 81,127 13.0 98,235 14.6 127,628 18.5 157,558 21.8
Hong Kong 9,660 3.1 10,710 3.1 12,625 3.1 12,018 2.6 7,627 1.4 7,849 1.4 8,286 1.3 8,329 1.2 8,034 1.2 8,136 1.1
Japan 13,500 4.3 13,360 3.9 36,611 9.0 45,531 10.0 46,497 8.5 38,712 6.9 33,974 5.4 29,264 4.4 24,842 3.6 21,290 2.9
South Korea 6,150 2.0 18,660 5.4 23,362 5.7 36,231 8.0 45,685 8.3 59,022 10.5 69,124 11.1 75,065 11.2 72,153 10.4 73,351 10.1
Taiwan 19,460 6.2 23,770 6.9 33,531 8.2 32,702 7.2 28,566 5.2 27,876 4.9 29,001 4.6 28,065 4.2 26,685 3.9 24,818 3.4
South and Central Asia 14,540 4.7 25,800 7.5 42,366 10.4 45,401 10.0 71,765 13.1 94,965 16.8 117,001 18.8 129,572 19.3 130,725 18.9 128,958 17.8
India 9,250 3.0 16,070 4.7 28,857 7.1 31,743 7.0 54,664 10.0 76,503 13.5 94,563 15.2 103,260 15.4 104,897 15.2 103,895 14.4
Nepal 250 0.1 390 0.1 670 0.2 1,219 0.3 2,618 0.5 6,061 1.1 8,936 1.4 11,581 1.7 11,233 1.6 10,301 1.4
Pakistan 2,990 1.0 5,440 1.6 7,725 1.9 6,427 1.4 6,948 1.3 5,759 1.0 5,345 0.9 5,298 0.8 5,222 0.8 5,045 0.7
Southeast Asia 28,450 9.1 50,310 14.6 41,441 10.2 47,774 10.5 40,916 7.5 35,244 6.2 40,152 6.4 44,395 6.6 43,817 6.3 46,020 6.4
Indonesia 3,250 1.0 8,210 2.4 9,524 2.3 12,820 2.8 11,625 2.1 7,575 1.3 7,692 1.2 7,509 1.1 6,943 1.0 6,942 1.0
Malaysia 6,010 1.9 23,020 6.7 13,606 3.3 14,015 3.1 7,795 1.4 5,515 1.0 5,428 0.9 5,942 0.9 6,190 0.9 6,735 0.9
Philippines 3,390 1.1 3,920 1.1 4,273 1.0 3,127 0.7 3,139 0.6 3,758 0.7 4,170 0.7 4,226 0.6 3,815 0.6 3,604 0.5
Singapore 1,320 0.4 3,930 1.1 4,495 1.1 4,098 0.9 4,166 0.8 3,909 0.7 3,976 0.6 3,989 0.6 4,051 0.6 4,316 0.6
Thailand 6,550 2.1 6,940 2.0 7,092 1.7 12,165 2.7 11,187 2.0 8,765 1.6 9,004 1.4 8,736 1.3 8,531 1.2 8,236 1.1
Vietnam 6,490 2.1 3,270 1.0 1,396 0.3 922 0.2 2,022 0.4 4,597 0.8 8,769 1.4 12,823 1.9 13,112 1.9 14,888 2.1
                                         
Europe1 28,650 9.2 38,910 11.3 55,422 13.6 76,855 16.9 93,784 17.1 84,697 15.0 83,981 13.5 87,648 13.1 85,084 12.3 84,296 11.7
Cyprus1 720 0.2 2,140 0.6 1,710 0.4 1,819 0.4 2,217 0.4 1,111 0.2 782 0.1 696 0.1 586 0.1 470 0.1
France 2,570 0.8 3,680 1.1 5,633 1.4 5,710 1.3 7,273 1.3 6,640 1.2 7,050 1.1 7,421 1.1 7,716 1.1 8,098 1.1
Germany2 3,310 1.1 4,730 1.4 7,003 1.7 9,017 2.0 10,128 1.8 8,829 1.6 8,907 1.4 9,679 1.4 9,548 1.4 9,458 1.3
Greece 3,750 1.2 4,440 1.3 4,357 1.1 3,365 0.7 2,768 0.5 2,088 0.4 1,981 0.3 1,896 0.3 1,837 0.3 1,874 0.3
Spain 950 0.3 1,740 0.5 4,304 1.1 4,809 1.1 4,156 0.8 3,455 0.6 3,660 0.6 3,849 0.6 3,971 0.6 4,330 0.6
Turkey1 2,600 0.8 2,460 0.7 4,078 1.0 7,678 1.7 10,983 2.0 11,622 2.1 12,030 1.9 13,263 2.0 12,397 1.8 12,184 1.7
United Kingdom 4,440 1.4 5,940 1.7 7,298 1.8 7,799 1.7 8,139 1.5 8,274 1.5 8,367 1.3 8,701 1.3 8,861 1.3 8,947 1.2
                                         
Latin America 49,810 16.0 45,480 13.2 47,318 11.6 47,253 10.4 63,634 11.6 64,769 11.5 64,473 10.3 67,731 10.1 65,632 9.5 64,169 8.9
Caribbean 10,650 3.4 11,100 3.2 12,349 3.0 10,737 2.4 14,423 2.6 13,855 2.5 12,739 2.0 13,320 2.0 13,112 1.9 11,644 1.6
Central America 12,970 4.2 12,740 3.7 15,949 3.9 14,220 3.1 16,764 3.1 19,709 3.5 20,800 3.3 21,430 3.2 19,956 2.9 20,361 2.8
Mexico 6,730 2.2 5,460 1.6 6,739 1.7 8,687 1.9 10,670 1.9 13,931 2.5 14,837 2.4 14,850 2.2 13,450 1.9 13,713 1.9
South America 26,190 8.4 21,640 6.3 19,019 4.7 22,296 4.9 32,447 5.9 31,205 5.5 30,932 5.0 32,961 4.9 32,564 4.7 32,164 4.4
Brazil 2,870 0.9 2,840 0.8 3,898 1.0 5,497 1.2 8,846 1.6 7,009 1.2 7,578 1.2 8,767 1.3 8,786 1.3 8,777 1.2
Colombia 3,930 1.3 4,010 1.2 3,183 0.8 3,462 0.8 6,765 1.2 6,835 1.2 6,662 1.1 7,013 1.0 6,920 1.0 6,456 0.9
Venezuela 11,750 3.8 7,040 2.0 2,894 0.7 4,456 1.0 5,217 1.0 4,792 0.8 4,446 0.7 4,678 0.7 4,958 0.7 5,491 0.8
                                         
Middle East1 81,390 26.1 48,120 14.0 27,636 6.8 21,066 4.6 23,658 4.3 17,806 3.2 24,755 4.0 29,140 4.3 33,797 4.9 42,543 5.9
Iran 47,550 15.2 14,210 4.1 6,262 1.5 2,628 0.6 1,844 0.3 2,420 0.4 3,060 0.5 3,533 0.5 4,731 0.7 5,626 0.8
Israel 2,710 0.9 2,600 0.8 2,977 0.7 2,637 0.6 3,402 0.6 3,419 0.6 3,004 0.5 3,060 0.5 2,778 0.4 2,701 0.4
Jordan 6,140 2.0 6,590 1.9 4,321 1.1 2,222 0.5 2,187 0.4 1,733 0.3 1,799 0.3 2,225 0.3 1,995 0.3 2,002 0.3
Kuwait 2,990 1.0 3,810 1.1 1,624 0.4 3,035 0.7 3,045 0.6 1,703 0.3 1,823 0.3 2,031 0.3 2,442 0.4 2,998 0.4
Lebanon 6,770 2.2 7,090 2.1 3,899 1.0 1,554 0.3 2,005 0.4 1,950 0.3 1,807 0.3 1,823 0.3 1,608 0.2 1,462 0.2
Saudi Arabia 10,440 3.3 6,900 2.0 3,584 0.9 4,191 0.9 5,273 1.0 3,448 0.6 9,873 1.6 12,661 1.9 15,810 2.3 22,704 3.1
                                         
North America3 14,790 4.7 16,030 4.7 18,949 4.7 23,644 5.2 25,888 4.7 28,699 5.1 29,472 4.7 30,107 4.5 28,574 4.1 27,941 3.9
Canada 14,320 4.6 15,410 4.5 18,350 4.5 23,005 5.1 25,279 4.6 28,202 5.0 29,051 4.7 29,697 4.4 28,145 4.1 27,546 3.8
                                         
Oceania 4,180 1.3 4,030 1.2 4,230 1.0 4,202 0.9 4,624 0.8 4,702 0.8 5,005 0.8 5,053 0.8 5,091 0.7 5,610 0.8
Australia 1,530 0.5 1,530 0.4 1,906 0.5 2,244 0.5 2,645 0.5 2,806 0.5 3,088 0.5 3,203 0.5 3,296 0.5 3,777 0.5
                                         
Unidentified4 240 0.1 190 0.1 89 # 30 # 10 # # # # # # # 16 # 10 #
#Rounds to zero.
1 Cyprus and Turkey were classified as being in the Middle East prior to 2004-05, but in Europe for 2004-05 and later years. Data for years prior to 2004-05 have been revised for comparability.
2 Data for 1980-81 and 1985-86 are for West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany before unification).
3 Excludes Mexico and Central America, which are included in Latin America.
4 Place of origin unknown or undeclared.    
NOTE: Includes foreign students enrolled in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Totals and subtotals include other countries not shown separately. Region totals may not sum to continent totals, because some continent totals include students who are not classified by country or region. Data are for "nonimmigrants" (i.e., students who have not migrated to this country). Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Institute of International Education, Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange, 1981 through 2011 (selected years). (This table was prepared May 2012.)
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education