- The percentage of immigrants with a bachelor’s degree has increased by more than 10% since 1980 to reach 17.2% in 2016.
- 78% of immigrants from India have a Bachelor’s degree or have completed a higher level of education.
- Only 2% more of the US-born population has a bachelor’s degree as compared to immigrants
Are you planning to study in the US? The level of educational qualifications for immigrants is on the rise. Know all about it.
The USA is home to the largest number of immigrants in the world. Though many view immigrants as a problem, a recent study showed that the number of well-educated immigrants in the USA is rising. Read on to find out more.
According to a survey conducted in 2017, immigrants and their children born in the USA accounted for about 27% of the total population of the USA. Since the 1960s, the USA has been one of the top destinations for international migrants.
As of 2017, one-fifth of the world’s total migrant population lives in the USA. These migrants come from all over the world. A recent study has shown that an increasing number of migrants moving to the USA are well-educated and highly skilled.
Study in the US – Changing trends in immigration education levels
The percentage of immigrants with a bachelor’s degree has more than doubled since 1980. In 1980, only 7% of all immigrants to the USA had a bachelor’s degree while in 2016, 17.2% of adult migrants had a bachelor’s degree.
A similar trend has been seen in the number of post-graduate migrants coming to the USA. In 1980, only 8.7% of migrants held a post-graduate degree while in 216, 12.8% of migrants had post-graduate degrees.
This has made the percentage of migrants with bachelors and postgraduate degrees comparable to the US born-population with similar degrees. In 2016 there was a difference of only 1.6% between the percentage of immigrants and US-born citizens with at least a bachelor’s degree.
|Adults Above the Age of 25 Years||Percentage with at least a Bachelor’s Degree|
Study in the US -Why have the education levels risen for immigrants?
There are many reasons why the US is seeing more educated immigrants. One of the reasons for this is the change in where these immigrants come from. Over time, there has been a gradual increase in the number of migrants coming from Asia and a drop in the number of Hispanic immigrants.
|Year||Hispanic Immigrants||Asian Immigrants|
Immigrants from Asia tend to have attained higher levels of education as compared to Latin American immigrants. In 2016, 52.1% of immigrants from South and East Asian countries had at least a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, 81.2% of Mexican immigrants and 74.6% of central American immigrants held only a high school degree or less.
Immigrant % above 25 years age with at least a bachelor’s degree from the 10 largest immigrant groups
|Immigrant Origin Country||1980||2016|
A majority of immigrants moving to the USA come in through the H1B visa program. Changes in this visa program have also contributed to the rising number of educated migrants in the USA. The H1B program requires applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree and to be highly skilled in their field of expertise.
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program is another large source of highly skilled immigrants. This also requires some level of graduate education. It remains to be seen now how the proposed changes in the H1B visa program further affect this trend.
Study in the US: Immigrants vs US-born population
On an average, the US-born population in America has completed a higher level of education as compared to immigrants. In 2016, 29% immigrants above the age of 25 years did not have even a high school diploma.
In comparison, only 9% of the US-born population above the age of 25 years had not completed their high school education. However, when it came to college degrees, there was only a difference of 2% between immigrants and the US-born population.
|Category||Less than High School||High School Graduate||College Graduation||Bachelor’s Degree|
Education levels of immigrants in the USA
That said, education levels of immigrants vary from country to country. 57% of the immigrants from Mexico in 2016 had not completed their high school while only 11% of immigrants from Europe fell into this category. Similarly, more than half the immigrants from Asia had a Bachelor’s degree while only 6% of the immigrants from Mexico had a similar degree.
|Immigrant Origin Country||Less than high School||High School Graduate||College Graduation||Bachelor’s Degree|
|South East Asia||0.15||0.15||175||0.52|
|Sub Saharan Africa||0.12||0.2||0.28||0.4|
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