Recent Trends in Educational Attainment of Immigrants to the United States

Marwa AlFakhri , Duke University

My first objective is to document changes in the educational profile of recent immigrants to the United States. Using data from the American Community Survey, I present a portrait of recent immigrants’ educational attainment and document an increase in the fraction of immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher among arrival cohorts of 1996 to 2016. My second objective is to analyze possible determinants of this upward trend. I find that the upward trend for immigrant men is completely accounted for by the changing composition of sending countries and at least half of the change in the trend for women is attributed to changes in education levels within origin country groups. Additionally, I find that within origin group, change in education is not due to changes in positivity of selection, but to an increase in educational attainment of women in sending countries.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization