The Contribution of Foreign Schools to Educational Attainment in the United States

Jessica W. Davis, U.S. Census Bureau
Kurt J. Bauman, U.S. Census Bureau

An assumption among those who study immigration is that the “barbell” shaped educational distribution of immigrants results from the characteristics of immigrants themselves, while the contribution of local schools and universities has been largely ignored. Among researchers not concerned with immigration, there is almost the opposite assumption. Concern about high school completion, college completion, and the literacy level of adults has focused almost exclusively on the role of U.S. schools. To clarify this situation, we will estimate the number of foreign-born persons 25 and older who received their education in the United States and elsewhere, relying primarily on the American Community Survey. To estimate receipt of degrees outside the United States, we will follow a procedure similar to that of Zeng and Xie (2004), who based estimates on age of entry into the United States. For this purpose we will use National Household Education Survey data.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration, Urbanization, Neighborhood and Residential Context