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Educational Attainment in New and Established Latino Metropolitan Destinations

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This study examines the educational attainment of Latinos who immigrated to the United States by age 12. We compare the educational attainment of Latino immigrants in established and emerging Latino immigrant gateway cities in order to identify whether there are any significant differences in educational attainment between immigrants in these two gateways types and why such differences might exist. Methods.

We employ OLS regression using the 2000 5% Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample. Results.

Our results suggest that contrary to speculation, educational attainment among Latino immigrants is significantly higher in new Latino destinations than in established Latino metropolitan areas, although much of the difference is mediated by demographic factors. Migration history, English proficiency, ethnicity, and citizenship status account for a substantial portion of the differences in educational attainment between destination types. The migration history of these immigrants suggests a selection effect: only those immigrants who are relative newcomers to their new Latino destination have significantly higher educational attainment than those in established metropolitan areas. Conclusions.

We find that educational attainment among Latino immigrants is higher in new Latino destinations. Our study suggests that more highly educated Latino immigrants are choosing new Latino destinations, while longer-term immigrant residents of new destinations are faring no better (in terms of educational levels) than those in established destinations. English proficiency, ethnicity, and citizenship status are confirmed as factors strongly associated with educational attainment among immigrants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Pennsylvania State University 2: University of Tennessee

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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