Young adult Hispanics who are immigrants or the U.S.-born children of immigrants are making consistent generational gains in education and employment, with college enrollment rates particularly strong for second-generation Hispanic women, according to a major new study of immigrant-origin young adults released today by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
However, while Hispanic second-generation women are enrolling in college at the same rate as third-generation non-Hispanic white women, with 46 percent enrollment, they trail their white counterparts by 18 percentage points when it comes to completing an associate’s degree or higher by the age of 26 (33 percent compared to 51 percent).
Despite the gains for Hispanic immigrant-origin young adults (first-generation immigrants and the second-generation U.S.-born children of immigrants), their non-Hispanic counterparts have better education and labor market outcomes by and large – driven in part by the strong performance of first- and second-generation Asian youth. More than 53 percent of non-Hispanic immigrant-origin young adults had at least an associate’s degree by age 26, compared to 45 percent of third-generation whites.
These findings are contained in the study Up for Grabs: The Gains and Prospects of First- and Second-Generation Young Adults, which profiles the 11.3 million young immigrant-origin adults who represent one in four people in the United States between the ages of 16 and 26. The research was funded through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.