The AIP has released the latest statistics on first year physics graduate students in the US. There are a few but not surprising data here.

Asians still make up the largest percentage of foreign students (Table 2) in terms of continent of origin, with China sending the largest number of students (39% of all foreign students). In fact, China has more first year physics students than students from Europe, Africa, Americas, Middle East, and Australia/New Zealand combined!

The other interesting observation here is that foreign students also tend to major in a more "practical" subject area, more so than American students. Table 4 shows that the percentage of foreign students intending to major in Condensed Matter, Biophysics, Material Science, and other Applied Physics tend to be higher than their American counterpart. The percentage of foreign students majoring in Astrophysics, for example, is significantly low (4%), whereas for American students, the percentage (13%) is roughly equivalent to the other two other most popular subject areas (15% and 12%).

One can spin such statistics in a number of ways. :)

Zz.

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