Indians, Chinese raise education levels in US

People from India, China and other parts of Asia are raising average education levels in many American states as their number topped ten million in an all-time high immigrant total of 37.5 million in 2006.

Indians, Chinese raise education levels in US

People from India, China and other parts of Asia are raising average education levels in many American states as their number topped ten million in an all-time high immigrant total of 37.5 million in 2006.

Immigrants have affected incomes and education levels in many cities across the country though not uniformly with immigrants from Latin America adding to the number of those lacking a high-school diploma, according to the data released Wednesday by the Census Bureau.

About 48 percent of Asian immigrants held at least a bachelor's degree, compared with about 11 percent of immigrants from Latin America. Among people born in the US, about 27 percent were college graduates.

'Driving this are people coming from China and India,' said Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau. 'They are either coming with a bachelor's degree, or they are coming with visas and getting degrees once they arrive.'

'There is no one-size-fits-all policy that you could apply for all immigrant groups,' said Mather. 'I think most of the attention has been on low-skilled workers coming from Mexico. But we have 10 million immigrants from Asia, a number that's growing.'

Immigrants from Asia and Latin America together accounted for about 80 percent of the total with 47 percent of adults from Latin America lacking a high school diploma, compared with 16 percent of Asian immigrants and 13 percent of people born in the US. California led the nation in immigrants, at 27 percent of the state's population, and in people who spoke a foreign language at home, at 43 percent.

West Virginia had the smallest share of immigrants, at 1.2 percent. It also had the smallest share of people speaking a foreign language at home, at 2.3 percent.

The data also showed that one in five people over the age of five living in US speak a language other than English at home, although the majority of them (60 percent) spoke English very well.

Of the 111.6 million households in the United States, each with an average 2.61 family members, 4.8 percent were 'linguistically isolated', meaning everyone aged 14 or older in the households had difficulty speaking English, the report showed. At around 14 million people their number has grown by about eight million since 2000.

The most populous state of California, which shares a border with Mexico, had the highest percentage of homes in which English was not spoken, at 42.5 percent, followed by New Mexico (36.5 percent) and Texas (33.8 percent), both of which also border Mexico.

In Los Angeles, one of the biggest cities in the United States, more than half of all people over the age of five, 53.4 percent, spoke a language other than English. Spanish was spoken in 27.6 percent of linguistically isolated households, followed by Asian languages at 27.4 percent and languages besides Spanish from the Indo-European family, at 16.5 percent.

Around 44 million Hispanics live in the United States, representing around 15 percent of the US population of nearly 303 million.


IANS

Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2007, 11:15
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