Driving up through the Siskyous to Oregon this morning (lovely day! Shasta Lake full!), my mind idled back to yesterday's post about Chinese students in higher education. I had mentioned that the number had grown by a factor of 5.5 over 10 years, to something over five and a half million. But wait, how does that compare with the US in absolute terms?
Answer: not so hot. Give China a population of 1.3 billion; at 5.5 million, that means that the shrae of China's population in higher education is about 42 hundreths of a percent. Meanwhile per UNESCO, the United States has some 14.3 million, nearly three times the absolute number as China (and the largest absolute number in the world)--also 4.75 percent of population, better than 10 times the Chinese.
I wonder how many of the Chinese are English majors? Probably quite a few.