5 Million Indian Americans Live in the US

Featured & Cover 5 Million Indian Americans Live in the US

The number of Indians living in the US has grown to 5 million in 2023, representing a 50 percent increase since 2010, a new report by Indiaspora, a California-based non-profit highlighted.

The report titled, Indiaspora Impact Report: Small Community, Big Contributions, compiled by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), is the first in a series examining the impact of the Indian diaspora in the United States, focusing on public service, business, culture, and innovation. The report not only presents compelling statistics but also profiles inspiring individuals who exemplify the diaspora’s contributions across various sectors.

As the second-largest migrant group in the US, Indian-Americans, with their young and highly educated demographic, have significantly influenced American life. At a time when immigration is a contentious issue, Indian-Americans have become one of the most influential immigrant groups in the country.


Indian American households contribute $1.5 to $2 billion annually to various causes, the report found. “Since 2008, individuals of Indian origin have donated $3 billion to US universities, including 65+ donations of $1M+ to 40+ universities,” it states. “Notable donations include: $2 billion by Amar Bose to MIT and $140 million by Rajan Kilachand to Boston University.”

“Indian Americans account for only 1.5 percent of the US population, yet they continue to have an outsized and positive impact across different aspects of US society,” said MR Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora, a nonprofit organization of global Indian diaspora leaders. “Indian American-driven innovation flows to the country’s bottom line and is laying the groundwork for the next phase of economic growth.”

US economy

16 Fortune 500 companies are led by CEOs of Indian origin. “Ranging from Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, who traveled on a plane for the very first time when he came to the US to attend Stanford, to Reshma Kewalramani, the CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, who migrated at the age of 12 and went on to study medicine at Boston University,” the report states.

Another key finding in the report is that Indian-Americans have co-founded 11 percent unicorns (72 out of 648) in the US in 2023. These have a combined valuation of $195 billion, employing over 55,000 individuals.

“These startups are solving a diverse range of problems. For instance, Hari Balakrishnan’s Cambridge Mobile Telematics aims to make America’s roads safer, while Gaurab Chakrabarti’s Solugen is decarbonizing industrial processes,” the report highlights.

In addition to this, Indian-Americans pay 6 percent of all US taxes.

Science and innovation

Members of the diaspora represent more than 10 percent of the National Institute of Health (NIH) grants and US patents, as well as hold significant positions in academia.

“In 2023, Indian-origin scientists were part of research groups at the forefront of innovation,” it says. “The share of US patents with a co-inventor of Indian origin also grew fivefold from about 2 percent in 1975 to 10 percent in 2019.”

Some Indian-origin researchers achieved great feat. While Navin Varadarajan’s work in immunotherapy offers hope to cancer patients, Subra Suresh, former director of the National Science Foundation, has patented crucial biomedical devices that transform healthcare practices worldwide.

Some individuals are even contributing to shaping tomorrow’s global leaders.

“Approximately 22,000 faculty members of Indian origin each at US higher education institutions — 2.6 percent of all full-time faculty. Figures like: Neeli Bendapudi, the first woman and the first person of color to serve as Penn State’s President; and Arun Majumdar, the inaugural dean of Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, whose pioneering work in energy research is equipping students to tackle climate change, embodying the academic influence of the diaspora.”

Government and Public Policy

Over 150 Indian Americans are currently in serving in senior administration positions accounting for 6.2 percent of the total positions. Kamala Harris, whose mother hails from India, created history as the first woman to be sworn in as Vice President in 2021 and is the highest ranking Indian American in the United States.

“Indian-origin persons account for 3 percent of leadership in government agencies like the NSF, CDC, EPA. Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan serves as the 15th director of the US National Science Foundation since 2020,” the report says.

Public Health

Indian American physicians are highly sought after in the United States, with every one in seven Americans being treated by them. They make up 10 percent of all physicians in the US but serve approximately 30 percent of patients, the report highlighted.

Dr Vivek Murthy, the 19th and 21st Surgeon General of the US, is the first Surgeon General of Indian descent

Food and culture

Interestingly, about 3 percent of Michelin Guide USA restaurants feature Indian cuisine. “There is a rising popularity of drinks like turmeric latte and chai, as well as the celebration of festivals such as Diwali and Holi,” the report says.

From 2015 to 2023, 96 Indian movies grossed over $1 million in North America, and $340 million collectively. Additionally, Indian-origin artists have won 10 prestigious awards since 2015 across the prestigious and sought-after Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammy Awards.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Indiaspora founder M.R. Rangaswami, said, “Indian Americans account for only 1.5 percent of the US population, yet they continue to have an outsized and positive impact across different aspects of US society. Indian American-driven innovation flows to the country’s bottom line and is laying the groundwork for the next phase of economic growth.”

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