Did you know that according to 2012 data, more than half of young adults in California ages 16 to 26 were first- or second-generation immigrants? This should not come as a surprise if you consider that California is home to one-quarter of the nation’s immigrants! Although some naysayers like to denigrate immigrants as uneducated high school dropouts or worse, statistics show that recent immigrants to California include a large number of highly educated workers. Although it is important to note the wide spread of ages in the Current Population Survey data, let’s look at some of the numbers:
For Californian adults aged 25 to 65:
- 8% immigrants had a high school level education, compared to 23.3% of U.S. citizens.
- 1% of immigrants had achieved a bachelor’s level degree, as compared to 37.2% of U.S. citizen adults.
Even better, among recent immigrants aged 24 and over who arrived in California between 2005 through 2008:
- 41% had at least a bachelor’s degree!!!
Immigrants in California are attaining higher educational levels, and while many still add valuable work to the unskilled labor forces, many are helping the U.S. and California economies by joining the higher skilled workforce as well. And that is good news for all of us!