Fix to US education gap: Latinos need to earn more degrees

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For the United States to rank higher in education, Latinos need to earn 5.5 million college degrees by 2020, a new study reports. (Photo by Shuttershock)

For the United States to rank higher in education, Latinos need to earn 5.5 million college degrees by 2020, a new study reports. (Photo by Shuttershock)

On the world scale of education the United States falls behind. For the country to rank among the leaders, a new study reports that Latinos need to earn 5.5 million college degrees by 2020.

Excelencia in Education, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., released the results of on study on Latinos college completion on Tuesday.

The organization launched the Ensuring America’s Future initiative to inform, organize and engage leaders on a tactical plan to increase college completion among Latinos in the United States.

What they found was that in 2011, 21 percent of Hispanics had an associate degree or higher, compared to 57 percent of Asians, 44 percent of whites and 30 percent of blacks.

Statistics project that by 2020, Latinos will represent about 20 percent of the 18-64 year-old age group and 25 percent of the 18-29 year-old age group in the United States.

“Economically competitive jobs in the United States will require education beyond a high
school degree,” states the report.

According to the report, the widest gaps in graduation rates between Latinos and whites was in: Connecticut (19 percent), Delaware (15 percent), Illinois (15 percent), Iowa (18
percent), and Washington (16 percent).

The report found that there was a minimal gap in graduation rates between Latinos and whites in Louisiana. Maine was the only state where the graduation rates of Latinos were higher than that of white non-Hispanics.

According to the study 16 percent of California Latinos have college degrees compared to 39 percent of all California adults. The state had the largest increase in degrees earned by Latinos in over three years among the top 10 states enrolling Latinos, according to the report.

California

  • California, with 14 million Latinos, has the largest Latino population in the country, according to the 2010 Census.
  • Half of the K-12 population in California is Latino.
  • The median age of Latinos in California is 27, compared to 38 for whites.
  • The state’s graduation rate for students earning higher education degrees is 34.8 percent, compared to whites 47.4 percent.

Texas

  • Texas has the second largest Latino population in the United States.
  • Half of the K-12 population in Texas is Latino.
  • The median age of Latinos in Texas is 27, compared to 35 for whites.
  • 17 percent of Latino adults (25 to 64 years old) in Texas earned an associate degree or higher, compared to 34 percent of all adults in the state.
  • The number of Hispanics who earned an undergraduate degree in Texas increased about 7 percent from 2006-08, while all other race/ethnic groups increased 4 percent.
  • Texas had one of the largest increases in degrees earned by Latinos over three years among the top 10 states enrolling Latinos.

Florida

  • Florida has the third largest Latino population in the United States
  • 26 percent of the K-12 population in Florida is Latino.
  • The median age of Latinos in Florida is 33, compared to 44 for whites.
  • 31 percent of Latino adults (25 to 64 years old) in Florida earned an associate degree or higher, compared to 37 percent of all adults in the state.
  • The number of Hispanics who earned an undergraduate degree in Florida increased about 13 percent from 2006-08, while all other race/ethnic groups increased 7 percent.
  • Florida had one of the largest increases in degrees earned by Latinos over three years among the top 10 states enrolling Latinos.

Read the state-by-state study at Excelencia in Education

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