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Rising Migration from Asia Helps Fuel This New Brain Gain
Immigrant adults who have come to the United States since 2011 are far more likely to have a college degree than earlier groups of newcomers, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) reveals in a new fact sheet published today. Almost half — 48 percent — of immigrant adults entering between 2011 and 2015 were college graduates.
By comparison, just 27 percent of immigrants arriving a quarter-century earlier, during the 1986-1990 period, had a university degree. Recently arrived immigrants are also significantly more likely than U.S.-born adults to be college educated, with 31 percent of the native born holding at least a bachelor’s degree in 2015.
This striking shift in the composition of recent flows of immigrants to the United States is detailed in the fact sheet, New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States, which uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze immigrant cohorts over time, by regions of origin, immigration status and states of residence.
“Immigration policy debates and public understanding of immigration trends frequently lag changing realities on the ground,” said MPI President Michael Fix, who co-authored the fact sheet. “As policymakers discuss ‘merit-based’ immigration and reshaping future migration flows, they would do well to take into account these findings of rapidly rising levels of higher education and increased English proficiency among recent U.S. immigrants.”