January 28, 2009

Census: Foreign-Born Exceed the Native-Born in Advanced Degrees

The following reports was released by the Census Bureau Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009. It got me thinking about what the situation was in the universities in the Washington area.

Foreign-Born Exceed the Native-Born in Advanced Degrees

A larger percentage of foreign-born than native-born residents had a master's degree or higher in 2007, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nationally, 11 percent of foreign-born -- people from another country now living in the United States -- and 10 percent of U.S.-born residents had an advanced degree.

These statistics come from Educational Attainment in the United States: 2007 a report that describes the degree or level of school completed by adults 25 and older.

In the West, the percentage of foreign-born who had completed at least a bachelor's degree or higher was less than the percentage of the native-born (24 percent compared with 31 percent). Among the foreign-born, those living in the Northeast had the highest percentage of bachelor's degrees or more (32 percent), which was the same as their native-born counterparts. The foreign-born in the South (26 percent) and Midwest (31 percent) were more likely than native-born residents to have at least a college degree (25 percent and 26 percent, respectively).

Across all regions, a smaller percentage of foreign-born than native-born adults had completed at least a high school education.

This is the first Census Bureau report on educational attainment to use data from both the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey. Combining these two data sets not only provides a state-by state comparison of educational attainment, it allows an examination of historical trends.

Other highlights from the report include:

-- 84 percent of adults 25 and older had completed high school, while 27 percent had obtained at least a bachelor's degree in 2007.

-- A larger proportion of women (85 percent) than men (84 percent) had completed high school, but a larger proportion of men had earned a bachelor's degree (28 percent compared with 27 percent).

-- The percentage of high school graduates was highest in the Midwest (87 percent), and the percentage of college graduates was highest in the Northeast (32 percent).

-- Men earned more than women at each level of educational attainment. The percentage of female-to-male earnings among year-round, full-time workers 25 and older was 77 percent.

-- Workers with a bachelor's degree on average earned about$20,000 more a year ($46,805) than workers with a high school diploma ($26,894). Compared with non-Hispanic whites and Asians, black and Hispanic workers earned less at all attainment levels.


Editor’s note: The report can be accessed at < http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p20-560.pdf>.


The data in this report are from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS) from 2008 and earlier. Statistics from surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For more information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, see Appendix G at < http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmar08.pdf> [PDF].

Note: See <www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS/accuracy2007.pdf> for further information on the accuracy of the 2007 American Community Survey data.

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