Proportion of non-U.S.-born and noncitizen health care professionals in the U.S.

Approximately a fifth of U.S. pharmacists in 2016 were in another country, according to a recent study. Researchers examined data from the American Community Survey (ACS), an annual survey of U.S.

Approximately a fifth of U.S. pharmacists in 2016 were in another country, according to a recent study. Researchers examined data from the American Community Survey (ACS), an annual survey of U.S. households administered by the Census Bureau, to determine the proportion of current health care professionals in the country who are non-U.S.-born or noncitizens. The sample included 164,122 health care professionals, which represented 5.2% of the approximately 3 million ACS survey respondents in 2016. Of all U.S. health care professionals, 16.6% were non-U.S.-born and 4.6% were noncitizens. According to the survey, about 20% of pharmacists were born elsewhere, while nearly 4% were not citizens. In addition, about 29% of physicians were born elsewhere and almost 7% were not citizens, while the rates for dentists were about 24% and 4%, and for registered nurses were 16% and 3%, respectively. The findings show that "non–U.S.-born individuals and noncitizens comprised a significant proportion of many health care professions in 2016," the researchers write. They add that "as the US population ages, there will be an increased need for many health care professionals, particularly those who provide personal care like home health care aides, a large proportion of whom are currently non–U.S.-born."