Indian students contributed $7.6 billion to the US economy for the academic year 2019-20, despite a 4.4 per cent drop in the total number of students, according to a report released by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE).
China was the largest source of international students in the US, with over 3,72,000 students during the 2019-20 year, the increase for the 16th consecutive year.
The IIE, in its annual report 'Open Door 2020' stated India as the second-largest source of international students, with 1,93,124 students. However, there was a 4.4 per cent decline during this period.
The country hosted over 10 lakh international students (1,075,496) for the academic year. It is to be noticed that the US not only saw a decrease in the number of Indian students, but there was a 1.8 per cent decline in the total number of international students.
However, there was a seven per cent increase in students from Bangladesh, followed by Brazil, which contributed four per cent and Nigeria with three per cent.
Concurrently, there was a 17 per cent decline in the number of students from Saudi Arabia saw the largest percentage decrease, majorly due to changes in its government's scholarship program.
The international student population represents 5.5 per cent of all students in US higher education system.
According to the US Department of Commerce, for the year 2019, the international students contributed $44 billion to the US economy, of which, $7.69 billion came from Indian students.
"International student mobility is as important today as ever, and we believe the United States is the best destination for students to study and earn their degrees," Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs as quoted.