FIGURE 3-4 Percent distribution of US R&D funding, by sector.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation. 2003. Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2001 (NSF 03-316). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation; NSF/SRS, WebCASPAR database system,

There is some evidence that at least some groups of first-generation Americans may be more likely to enter S&E and this may ease the demographic shift.91

Levels of Public Funding

With the increase in international graduate-student enrollment has come a shift in how that research is funded. R&D funding has risen over the years, but the sectors providing the funding are altering their relative contributions. The proportion of funding for research provided by the federal government has declined from about 70 percent in the 1970s to 60 percent in the 1990s while the proportion provided by academic institutions, business, and nonprofits has increased (see Figure 3-4).

Although decreased availability or stagnation of federal academic research funds disproportionately affects temporary residents and can affect graduate-student enrollments92 (see Figure 3-5), the important role of the


Thomas MaCurdy, Thomas Nechyba, and Jay Bhattacharya. 1998. “An economic framework for assessing the fiscal impacts of immigration.” In: The Immigration Debate: Studies in the Economic, Demographic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, pp. 13-65.


National Research Council. 2001. Trends in Federal Support of Research and Graduate Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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