How do we double the number of Americans studying abroad in five years?  Using student mobility data we analyzed the Net Flow of student mobility by state.

The latest study abroad numbers released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) on Monday are better – no sharp increases, but an overall positive trend.The number of Americans abroad increased by 2% over last year, bringing the total of American college students studying abroad to nearly 290K. To put that in context to inbound student mobility volumes, for every three international students studying in the U.S. there is one American student studying abroad.

As we highlighted back in September, IIE’s Generation Study Abroad program is ambitious – a five-year initiative that seeks to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad. At a recent press conference on Monday, President and CEO of IIE, Allan Goodman, pointed out the need to increase the number of Americans abroad by 14.5% a year if we’re to reach the program’s goal by 2018. That’s a drastic difference from the 2013 – 2014 increase of 2%, and there will need to be a strong push from U.S. universities and states to reach that goal.

From a numbers standpoint, there are several states that are pulling their weight. South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Wisconsin all have very strong study abroad numbers relative to international students studying within the state. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. Check out our visualization below that compares inbound and outbound mobility.“Net Flow” is the number of international students in the state minus the number of Americans abroad, so the states with the biggest net flow have the largest difference between international students coming in and American students going out.

Want to see where all these international students are coming from? Check out our interactive map showing where all these thousands of students are coming from.