There were about 34 million foreign-born US residents in 2004, and
their number is rising by a million a year. ?About a third have a
college degree or more, and 40 percent have not graduated from high
Excerpts from the Speech by Prof. Philip Martin, University of
California, Davis, USA at the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in co-operation
with the US Embassy in Germany, Berlin, April 21, 2005
?The foreign born aged 25 and over were less likely to have graduated
from high school than natives the same age (67.2 percent and 87.5
percent, respectively). Foreign born naturalized citizens were more
likely to have graduated from high school than noncitizens (77.3
percent and 59.5 percent, respectively). More than one-fifth of the
foreign born had less than a ninth-grade education (21.5 percent), a
higher proportion than that of the native population (4.1 percent).
The percentage of the foreign born with a bachelor?s degree or more
education(27.3 percent) was not statistically different from that of
the native population (27.2 percent, Figure 7). The highest
percentages of high school graduates among the foreign born were from
Asia, Europe, and Other Regions (87.4 percent, 84.9 percent, and 83.5
percent, respectively). In sharp contrast, the percentage of high
school graduates from Latin America was much lower (49.1 percent).
Among the foreign born from Latin America, those from South America
were the most likely to have graduated from high school (79.3
percent), and those from Central America were the least likely (37.7
See Figure 7: Population by Educational Attainment and Nativity: 2003
The Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2003
Issued February 2004
?In recent years, these factors have produced an inflow of some ten
and a half million immigrants who lack a high school education.?
?One-third of all immigrants live in families in which the head of the
household lacks a high school education.?
Robert Rector, FrontPage Magazine, October 26, 2006
?The percentage of immigrant parents with a college degree increased
from 20 to 29 percent between 1970 and 2000, and the percentage
without a high school degree declined from 34 to 30 percent. The
growth in poverty among immigrant children could not have resulted
from declines in immigrant parent's education because, very simply,
immigrant parents' education did not decline.?
Migration Policy Institute
Million immigrants graduated from high school
Immigration + education
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