According to the National Survey of College Graduates, first-generation immigrants to the United States make up a significant portion of America's science community. Men and women born outside the United States comprise 9.8% of all American adults with bachelor of science degrees and 23% of those with doctorates in science. Of those American scientists specifically engaged in research and development, 28% originally came from other nations.

Among Americans educated in geoscience, immigrants hold 5.2% of the bachelor's degrees, 9.7% of master's and technical degrees, and 16.8% of the Ph.D.s.