The United States does attract the best and the brightest.
The world’s highly skilled immigrants are increasingly living in just four nations: the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, according to new World Bank research paper, Global Talent Flows by Sari Pekkala Kerr, William Kerr, Çaǧlar Özden, Christopher Parsons.
“The high-skilled members of the next generation appear to be less tied to any particular location or national identity, but instead have mentalities and connections that are much more global in nature,” according to the paper.
While the share of the world’s population living outside their birth country has hovered around 3% since the 1960s, the highly-skilled component—defined as workers with at least one year of tertiary education—has risen more than three times as fast as the number of low-skilled immigrant workers. And China, India and Philippines have edged out the U.K. as the biggest supplier.
Despite efforts of non-English-speaking nations to attract high quality workers, almost 75% of the total OECD highly skilled workforce in 2010 lived in the four main Anglo-Saxon countries—almost 40% in the U.S. alone. Around 70% of engineers in Silicon Valley and 60% of doctors in Perth, Australia, were foreign-born in 2010.
“The U.S. has received an enormous net surplus of inventors from abroad, while China and India have been major source countries,” the study noted. In the last third of the 20th century, for instance, immigrants won 31% of all Nobel prizes—of whom more than half of these were at U.S. institutions.