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Migration Impetus: Family

Photonics.com
Jun 2007
ARLINGTON, Va., June 28, 2007 -- More than a third -- 37 percent -- of immigrant scientists and engineers say the most important reason they came to the US was family-related, the National Science Foundation (NSF) revealed today. Other reasons include educational opportunities (30 percent) and job or economic opportunities (21 percent).

The statistics are from the 2003 Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System, which integrates three large demographic and workforce surveys conducted by National Science Foundation (NSF): the National Survey of College Graduates, the National Survey of Recent College Graduates and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients. The surveys collected data (the latest data set analyzed for this topic) from 102,350 individuals representing about 21.6 million scientists and engineers. people_f.jpg
More than a third of immigrant scientists and engineers say they came to the United States mostly for family-related reasons. (Photo: Art Explosion)
The reasons for coming to the US vary among different groups (by country, age at entry and place where higher education was completed).

"Even for individuals who came to the US to pursue a higher education or to enter the labor force, family-related reasons were still cited as an important factor in the decision to come to the US," said Nirmala Kannankutty and Joan Burrelli, the authors of the report, both from NSF's Division of Science Resources Statistics.

More than 18.3 million native-born US citizens are scientists and engineers, with a total of more than 3.3 million immigrants -- the majority from India, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Canada, UK, Korea and Taiwan. Those who emigrated from China, Hong Kong or Macau, were most likely (75 percent) to have one or more degrees in science and engineering fields.

The majority of immigrant science and engineers in the United States are naturalized citizens (64 percent). In addition, more immigrant science and engineers than US citizens have advanced degrees (49 percent vs. 40 percent), were more likely to have earned their highest degree in a science and engineering field (63 percent vs. 54 percent) and report working in a science and engineering occupation (31 percent vs. 21 percent).

For more information, visit: www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf07324/


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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