Immigrant Nobel Prize Laureates



Nobel Laureates in Economics: International Collaboration and Social Impact

In 2023, 7 out of 11 Nobel Laureates (64 percent) are U.S.-affiliated, 4 of whom are immigrants to the United States. This report highlights the importance of immigrant economists at the highest level of academic research in the discipline. It includes a biography of Claudia Goldin, the 2023 Nobel Laureate economist along with previous recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics: Amartya Sen, George A. Akerlof, Elinor Ostrom, and Esther Duflo.

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The 2022 Nobel Laureates: International Collaboration & Groundbreaking Knowledge Production

In 2022, there are no immigrant Nobel Laureates from the United States, a notable exception to the rule for over a decade. Since 2010, the Nobel Foundation has awarded prizes to 28 immigrant Laureates in the United States. Immigrants to the United States, a typically overlooked group of awardees, comprise a considerable share (15%) of all Nobel Laureates awarded since 1901. These 148 immigrant individuals to date, have made lasting contributions across all six Nobel Prize fields, achievements which will continue to benefit humankind for decades to come. In 2022, it is noteworthy that three of the Laureates are foreign-born individuals who have significant experience internationally collaborating with U.S. based scientists through professional activities such as co-authored publications, postdoctoral research positions, or visiting professorships.

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Five of the 2021 Nobel Laureates from the United States are Foreign Born

The 2021 Nobel Prize winners have been announced, and this year seven of the 13 winners were from the United States, and among them, five of the U.S. winners were not born in the United States. Since 2010, there have been 28 foreign-born U.S. winners. Since 1901, there have been 148 were foreign born individuals who either immigrated permanently to the United States or were at a U.S. institution of higher learning at the time they received the award. These 148 individuals account for 16 percent of all Nobel Laureates.

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Leading Through Creativity and Innovation: The 2020 Nobel Laureates, MacArthur and Schmidt Science Fellows, and Immigrant Scientists in Search of a COVID-19 Vaccine

In 2020, none of the Nobel Prize winners from the United States are foreign-born individuals. However, four of this year’s 12 Laureates are foreign born and have been associated with U.S. research institutions or universities at some point in their careers. In addition, four of the 21 MacArthur Fellows and at least four of the 22 Schmidt Science Fellows are foreign born and living in the United States. Moreover, immigrants are among the scientists and researchers working to find a COVID-19 vaccine. This report profiles all of these high-achieving immigrants.

Nobel Laureates


The 2019 Foreign-Born Nobel Prize Winners in the United States

The Nobel Prize is awarded to extraordinary individuals who accomplish work in their lifetime that demonstrates an effort to benefit humankind. In 2019, 50% of Nobel Prize winners from the U.S. were foreign-born. These four outstanding individuals won the Nobel in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, and Economic Sciences. Since the first award was presented in 1901, 34% of all winners from the United States were immigrants.



The 2018 Nobel Laureates and Foreign-Born Scholars in the U.S. Higher Education System

Each year, the Nobel Prize is awarded to outstanding individuals in the fields of Economics, Physics, Medicine or Physiology, Chemistry, Literature, and Peace. Unlike in prior years, in 2018, none of the American winners were foreign-born individuals who immigrated permanently to the United States. But the United States did play an important role in their formation; nine of the twelve 2018 Nobel Laureates were either students, teachers, or research fellows at U.S. institutions of higher education at some point in their lives, even if they were not born in the United States and did not immigrate here permanently. Three of the 2018 Nobel Laureates were foreign-born academics who spent considerable time at U.S. institutions. 



The Impact of Immigrant Faculty Members on U.S. Universities and Research Institutes 

To further understand the impact of immigrants on institutions of higher education, the IIR conducted an analysis of the publicly available Survey of Doctorate Recipients, which is a longitudinal biennial survey conducted by the National Science Foundation to provide demographic and career information about individuals with a research doctoral degree in a science, engineering, or health field (STEM) from a U.S. academic institution.



Immigrant Nobel Laureates 2016

Since the Nobel Prize was established in the early 1900s, about 40 percent of the more than 900 prizes have gone to Americans. Additionally, about 35 percent of all US Nobel laureates have been immigrants to the United States. Eighty percent of those individuals worked at universities at the time of winning the Nobel Prize.



Nobel Prizes 2015

Highly skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs have been paramount in contributing to the United States, as well as to all humanity. The Nobel Prize rewards their immeasurable impact. Previous research has indicated foreign-born Nobel Prize Laureates’ dedication to excellence. This research examines how immigrant Nobel Prize Laureates (1901-2013) have allowed for the legacy of Alfred Nobel to live on through his endowment. 



Immigrant Nobel Prize 2013

As part of our research on the accomplishments of highly-skilled, foreign-born academics in the United States, we found that foreign-born scientists and engineers are over-represented among U.S. Nobel Laureates. From 1901-2013, of all the countries in the world, the United States, at 42.4%, receives the highest proportion of Nobel Prizes. Moreover, 30.7% of these U.S. awarded Nobel Prizes are garnered by persons who immigrated to the United States.