CRCS Reports

Purdue Survey of Chinese Students in the United States: A General Report

China has been the leading country of origin of international students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions since 2009 (Institute of International Education 2016). In 2015, Chinese students reached the unprecedented high number of 304,040, almost triple the number five years earlier. They represented the 11th consecutive year of rising numbers of Chinese students in the U.S. The 2015 number accounts for 31.2 percent of the entire international student population in the United States. “Never before in history have so many Chinese students studied at so many American universities” (Tea Leave Nation Staff 2015).


To help understand this significant phenomenon, the Center on Religion and Chinese Society (CRCS) at Purdue University carried out the first Survey of Chinese Students in the United States in spring 2016. In this general report, we profile the social characteristics of Chinese students, summarize the key findings of their social, cultural, and spiritual life, and provide the methodological information and detailed tables of this survey.