International Students Contribute $33.8 Billion to the US Economy in 2021-22

In the academic year 2021–2022, international students made a total contribution of $33.8 billion, with California benefiting the most financially ($5.4 billion), according to NAFSA.

The amount is up $5.5 billion (+19%) from the previous academic year, but it still falls short of the $40.5 billion and almost 450,000 jobs supported by more than one million international students in 2018–19.

While NAFSA estimated that international students nationwide supported more than 335,000 jobs, international student populations in California contributed to the establishment of over 50,000 jobs in 2021/22.

Every year, when the Open Doors data is released, NAFSA assesses the financial contribution of international students to the US economy as well as their support for job creation.

The number of international students enrolled in American colleges and universities increased again last year after falling precipitously during the pandemic. Over 948,519 foreign students from more than 200 nations attended a U.S. college or university last year, a 4 percent increase from the year before. During their stay in the United States, more than 90% of foreign students attended live classes again, according to the survey.