Posted on September 10, 2004
The Multiplier Effect
Math and Science Achievements of Immigrant Children
Sixty percent of the top science students in the United States and 65 percent of the top math students are the children of immigrants. In addition, foreign-born high school students make up 50 percent of the 2004 U.S. Math Olympiad top scorers, 38 percent of the U.S. Physics Team, and 25 percent of the Intel Science Talent Search finalists. Many of the parents of these students came to the United States on professional or student visas and have encouraged their children to focus on academics. Nearly all the immigrant parents of U.S. Physics Team members were born in China; those of the 2004 U.S. Math Olympiad's top scorers came from South Korea, China, Russia, and India; and the parents of the Intel STS finalists were from India, China, Taiwan, Russia and Ukraine, Vietnam, Israel, Turkey, and South Korea. These are some of the findings in The Multiplier Effect (9 pages, PDF), written by Stuart Anderson for the National Foundation for American Policy. It notes that any effort to preserve U.S. strength in science and technology should start by recognizing the key role that immigrants and their children play in the nation's leadership in these fields.