The Chicago Council says that over the past 50 years, one-quarter of US-based Nobel laureates were foreign born. Immigrants were behind 2% of new high-tech companies founded between 2006 and 2012. And Immigrants with advanced degrees are three times more likely to file patents than their native-born peers.
Another study reports that 32% were foreign born. Per Jon Bruner, of the 314 laureates who won their Nobel prize while working in the U.S., 102 (or 32%) were foreign born, including 15 Germans, 12 Canadians, 10 British, six Russians and six Chinese (twice as many as have received the award while working in China). Compare that to Germany, where just 11 out of 65 Nobel laureates (or 17%) were born outside of Germany (or, while it still existed, Prussia). Or to Japan, which counts no foreigners at all among its nine Nobel laureates. Bruner wrote his analysis in 2011.