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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Foreign-Born Americans Better Educated than Native-Born Americans

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A greater proportion of foreign-born residents than native-born Americans have achieved at least a masters degree, more women than men have high-school diplomas, and Asians are the best paid, says the U.S. Census Bureau in a new report on education by race, geography, gender, and national-origin.

10.9% of foreign-born residents had at least a master's degree, compared with 9.9% of American-born residents. Despite this, fewer immigrants graduated from high school, 68%, as compared to 88% of native-born residents. Therefore, while proportionally fewer immigrants pursue higher education, those who do go further in their education than their American-born counterparts.

Asians were by far the most educated, with 19.6% having at least a master's degree. Hispanics were the least educated, at only 3.9%. Non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks fell in the middle with 11.3% and 5.8% respectively.

This corresponds directly with pay. Asians earned an average annual pay of $37,940, the most. Non-Hispanic Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics earned successively less, with the average Hispanic pay at $24,602.

Of the four cultural-racial groups, Black and non-Hispanic White immigrants outdid their native-born counterparts in regards to education. 26% of immigrant Blacks had earned at least a bachelor's degree, as compared to 16.2% of native-born Blacks. The same goes for non-Hispanic Whites, with the tally for foreign-born at 37.9%, and that of native-born at 30.1%.

More women than men were high-school graduates, 85% versus 84%, but more men held at least a bachelor's degree, 28% compared to 27%.

Women earned an average annual pay of $27,276, which was lower than the average male pay of $40,481. In fact, women with high school diplomas averaged $21,219 a year, which is still less than the average $22,602 earned that year by men without high school diplomas.

The proportion of high-school graduates is glaringly correlated with geography. Every state to the south of the country, with the exception of Oklahoma and Florida, fell below the national mean of 84.5% high-school graduates. In addition to the traditional South, this includes California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. Every state north of Arizona was above the national mean, with the exception of Kentucky, West Virginia, and New York. Alaska and Hawaii also fall into this trend.

Within the United States, the District of Columbia had the highest proportion of people holding at least a bachelor's degree, 47.5%. West Virginia had the lowest at 17.3%.

Mississippi had the smallest proportion of high-school graduates, at 78.5%. Wyoming had 91.2%, the largest proportion.

Of the total American population, 84.5% had graduated high-school and 27.5% had at least a bachelor's degree.

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