International student enrollment in the United States has steadily declined over the past few years. A closer look at Indiana, two of its neighboring states and the top three international student enrolling states shows some of the nation’s trends.

National statistics for the 2017-18 school year show that the number of new international students enrolling in U.S. institutions has dropped by 6.6% compared to the year before, according to Open Doors 2018 Fast Facts. While this is just new international students enrollment, the numbers of international students, in general, are in a roller coaster of highs and lows across the U.S. 

In Indiana alone, there were over 29,000 international students studying in 2018, which was a 2 percent drop compared to the previous year. These students came to get an education at higher education institutions mostly from China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Taiwan. The top five universities that enrolled the most international students in 2018 were Purdue University, Indiana University, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Notre Dame and Purdue University Northwest. 

In a neighboring state, Kentucky, there were considerably less international students with only 9,942, which was a 26 percent increase from 2017. These students hail mostly from India, China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Nigeria. Most attended Campbellsville University, University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, and the University of Lousiville.

The midwest state of Ohio had a total of 37,583 international students enrolled in institutions in the state, which was a 2.8% drop from 2017 and much higher than Kentucky and Indiana by comparison. Said students enrolled in Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, Miami University, and Case Western Reserve University. Students came mostly from home countries of China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Kuwait.

The three states enrolling the most international students in the U.S. are California, New York, and Texas. California hosted over 160,000 international students, which was an increase of 3.2%. The state of New York came in second in 2018 with over 120,000 international students resulting in a 2.4% increase from the previous year. The larger the state doesn’t necessarily mean the larger international student population; however, Texas dropped in enrollment by .9% with only 84,000 in 2018. Students enrolled in these top three states included home nations of China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Vietnam. 

Over half of the international students enrolled in U.S. institutions come from China (33%) or India (18%). This is consistent with Indiana’s statistics as well with China with 33.5% and India at 23.5% of the international student studying in the Hoosier state.