Thursday, October 15, 2020
The face of U.S. higher education is changing. College and university students are more likely to come from immigrant families than in the past, and they are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities. Immigrants and the children of immigrants have driven 58 percent of the growth in post-secondary enrollment between 2000 and 2018, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) finds in a first-of-its-kind U.S. and state analysis of immigrant-origin students.
These students represented 28 percent (5.3 million) of the 19 million college students enrolled in 2018, up from 20 percent in 2000. Their shares are significantly higher in some states: 50 percent of all students pursuing diplomas in California; 40 percent in Florida, Hawaii and Nevada; 39 percent in New York; and 36 percent in New Jersey.
Among the key findings of this analysis:
- The 5.3 million immigrant-origin students nationwide in 2018 were spread across traditional and newer immigrant-destination states. There were at least 20,000 such students in 32 states, and they made up more than 30 percent of students in nine states.
- Immigrant-origin students are a diverse group and accounted for notable shares of students who are racial and ethnic minorities. In 2018, they made up 85 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander students, 63 percent of Latino students, and 24 percent of Black students, compared to 10 percent of White students.
- The vast majority of immigrant-origin students are U.S. citizens. As of 2018, 68 percent were citizens by birth and another 16 percent were citizens by naturalization.