Immigrant Nation, American Success: PhDs and Patents

We’ve always believed that immigrants are vital to American progress, but now we’ve got the numbers to back it up! The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to present “Immigrant Nation, American Success,” a series of three infographics on how the foreign-born fuel scientific and economic development in the U.S.

In this graphic, “PhDs and Patents,” we show the link between foreign-born graduate students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and innovation in American research and development.

Studies by organizations such as the World Bank, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the bipartisan Partnership for a New American Economy  have projected that the nation gains 62 patent applications for every 100 international students who receive science or engineering PhDs from American universities, and that, on average, 2.62 jobs are created for every foreign-born graduate with an advanced degree from a U.S. university who stays to work in a STEM field.

This is reflected in the number of immigrant researchers listed on patents filed in America: At our country’s top research institutions in 2011, foreign-born researchers were listed as inventors on more than 5 out of 6 information technology patents, almost 8 out of 10 patents for pharmaceutical drugs or drug compounds, and 3 out of 4 patents in molecular biology and microbiology fields. 

Next week, we’ll take a look at the high achievers in STEM (spoiler alert: many of them are immigrants!). For now, feel free to link, post, and share widely!

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