May 10, 2018

Foreign students who stayed and worked in the U.S. under OPT after graduation by metro area, 2004-2016

Number of foreign graduates with an associate degree or higher, by metro area

The sortable table below provides details on the 113 metro areas that had 2,000 or more foreign students approved for the U.S. government's Optional Practical Training (OPT) program from 2004 to 2016. Under the program, foreign students who have graduated from a U.S. institution may be temporarily employed in a field that is directly related to their area of study for up to 12 months, or up to 36 months for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates. See the methodology section for more details on the calculations in the table.

Metro area Number who attended school in area Number who left area for work Number who entered area to work Total number who worked in area following school Net change in area's foreign graduate population
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 170,700 26,300 74,000 218,400 22%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 97,700 21,900 27,800 103,600 6%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 69,700 19,400 22,600 73,000 4%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 54,300 17,200 21,800 59,000 8%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 50,300 18,600 33,700 65,400 23%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 50,200 16,200 26,800 60,800 17%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 45,100 15,800 19,200 48,500 7%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 33,200 12,600 11,900 32,500 -2%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 32,300 14,400 44,500 62,400 48%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 23,900 8,100 16,600 32,400 26%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 21,900 5,400 6,300 22,700 4%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 20,500 6,900 12,600 26,300 22%
Pittsburgh, PA 20,400 11,100 3,900 13,300 -54%
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 17,000 4,800 9,400 21,600 21%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 16,700 2,700 20,500 34,500 52%
Ann Arbor, MI 16,000 10,000 2,300 8,300 -92%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 15,000 7,200 5,600 13,400 -12%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 13,700 5,700 6,200 14,200 4%
Champaign-Urbana, IL 13,600 7,500 1,300 7,500 -83%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 13,400 10,100 800 4,100 -225%
Minneapolis-St, Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 12,900 5,100 6,500 14,300 10%
Gainesville, FL 12,400 7,100 600 5,900 -110%
Columbus, OH 12,300 5,200 5,600 12,700 3%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 11,700 3,400 12,300 20,600 43%
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN 11,700 6,500 700 5,900 -99%
St, Louis, MO-IL 11,100 4,200 3,800 10,600 -5%
College Station-Bryan, TX 11,000 7,500 600 4,200 -164%
Austin-Round Rock, TX 10,700 4,700 7,800 13,800 22%
Ithaca, NY 10,500 5,400 700 5,700 -82%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 9,800 5,000 1,900 6,800 -45%
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 9,400 5,400 2,300 6,300 -49%
Rochester, NY 8,900 6,200 1,100 4,400 -101%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 8,900 5,500 2,900 5,600 -60%
Syracuse, NY 8,600 4,300 600 3,900 -124%
Raleigh, NC 8,600 5,300 4,400 8,700 1%
Oklahoma City, OK 7,800 2,900 1,000 5,900 -32%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 7,800 3,400 2,500 7,000 -12%
State College, PA 7,800 5,100 600 3,200 -141%
Bloomington, IN 7,600 4,200 500 4,000 -92%
Tampa-St, Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 7,500 2,800 3,100 7,800 4%
New Haven-Milford, CT 7,500 3,900 2,200 5,800 -30%
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA 7,400 3,700 4,100 7,800 5%
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 7,200 3,500 1,200 5,000 -46%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 6,900 3,500 2,400 5,800 -19%
Madison, WI 6,800 3,400 2,900 6,400 -7%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 6,500 2,900 3,700 7,300 12%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 6,100 1,900 3,000 7,300 16%
Kansas City, MO-KS 6,100 3,800 5,100 7,400 18%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 5,800 1,700 3,600 7,700 25%
Urban Honolulu, HI 5,700 1,000 700 5,400 -6%
Worcester, MA-CT 5,700 3,200 2,500 5,000 -14%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 5,500 3,300 2,400 4,600 -18%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 5,400 2,500 4,400 7,400 27%
Ames, IA 5,400 3,100 400 2,700 -102%
Dayton, OH 5,300 3,100 700 3,000 -81%
Springfield, MA 5,300 3,400 500 2,400 -122%
Akron, OH 5,200 2,600 600 3,100 -66%
Wichita, KS 5,100 2,900 300 2,600 -98%
Tucson, AZ 5,100 2,700 700 3,000 -67%
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA 5,000 2,800 300 2,600 -93%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 5,000 2,500 2,200 4,700 -8%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 5,000 1,600 6,200 9,500 48%
Salt Lake City, UT 4,900 1,400 2,000 5,500 11%
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 4,700 3,600 100 1,200 -286%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 4,500 2,100 1,800 4,300 -6%
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 4,500 2,900 600 2,200 -104%
Binghamton, NY 4,400 3,000 100 1,500 -187%
Baton Rouge, LA 4,300 2,200 600 2,800 -57%
Lubbock, TX 4,200 3,000 200 1,500 -185%
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 4,200 1,700 800 3,200 -30%
Toledo, OH 4,100 1,600 500 3,000 -40%
Charlottesville, VA 4,100 2,300 500 2,300 -75%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 4,000 800 1,100 4,300 7%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 4,000 1,900 1,600 3,700 -8%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 3,900 1,500 2,900 5,300 26%
Carbondale-Marion, IL 3,800 3,000 100 800 -356%
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN 3,700 1,500 2,100 4,300 16%
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 3,600 1,200 1,200 3,600 0%
Iowa City, IA 3,600 2,100 500 2,000 -83%
Manchester-Nashua, NH 3,600 2,600 1,000 2,000 -79%
Tallahassee, FL 3,500 1,800 700 2,500 -42%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 3,500 1,500 1,100 3,100 -12%
Columbia, MO 3,400 1,900 400 1,800 -85%
El Paso, TX 3,300 1,000 300 2,600 -26%
Provo-Orem, UT 3,300 1,200 500 2,600 -25%
Lincoln, NE 3,200 1,100 600 2,600 -22%
Savannah, GA 3,100 1,300 300 2,100 -50%
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA 3,100 1,600 900 2,400 -30%
Boulder, CO 3,000 1,900 900 2,000 -52%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 3,000 1,800 800 2,100 -47%
Trenton, NJ 3,000 1,700 2,400 3,800 19%
Springfield, IL 3,000 2,800 200 400 -596%
Lexington-Fayette, KY 3,000 1,400 700 2,300 -30%
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI 2,900 1,400 400 1,900 -55%
Athens-Clarke County, GA 2,900 1,500 300 1,800 -65%
Fargo, ND-MN 2,900 1,400 300 1,800 -59%
Morgantown, WV 2,800 1,800 300 1,200 -122%
Mobile, AL 2,700 1,700 100 1,200 -136%
Columbia, SC 2,600 1,200 700 2,100 -27%
Eugene, OR 2,600 1,100 200 1,800 -48%
Richmond, VA 2,600 900 2,300 4,100 36%
Lawrence, KS 2,600 1,400 300 1,500 -71%
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI 2,500 1,300 500 1,700 -47%
St, Cloud, MN 2,500 1,300 400 1,700 -51%
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 2,500 1,300 1,000 2,200 -13%
Auburn-Opelika, AL 2,400 1,500 400 1,200 -96%
Corvallis, OR 2,300 1,300 300 1,300 -75%
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 2,300 1,000 1,200 2,500 7%
Erie, PA 2,300 1,700 300 800 -179%
Knoxville, TN 2,200 1,200 1,000 1,900 -15%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 2,200 800 700 2,000 -7%
Manhattan, KS 2,200 1,200 200 1,100 -100%
Peoria, IL 2,100 1,300 1,500 2,300 9%

Note: For more information on the classification of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, see the methodology. Only metro areas that had at least 2,000 foreign students approved for OPT in the 2004 to 2016 calendar years are included. Figures rounded to the nearest hundred.
Source: Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data received August 2017 through a Freedom of Information Act request.