TABLE 7-1 Average Years of Schooling, by Gender, Ethnicity, and Nativity

Ethnicity

Men, by Nativity

Women, by Nativity

All

Foreign-Born

U.S.-Born

All

Foreign-Born

U.S.-Born

Whites

 

 

13.6

 

 

13.6

Blacks

 

 

12.4

 

 

12.8

All Hispanics

10.5

9.5

12.2

10.8

9.8

12.4

Mexicans

9.8

8.5

12.1

10.1

8.6

12.2

Puerto Ricans

11.7

11.2

12.4

12.0

11.4

12.7

Cubans

12.7

12.4

13.6

12.9

12.5

14.2

NOTE: The samples include individuals ages 25 to 59. See Appendix Table A7-1 for standard errors and sample sizes, as well as for analogous calculations for other Hispanic subgroups.

SOURCE: 2000 Census, 5% Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS).

ployment gaps with respect to white workers, are in large part explained by relatively low levels of human capital.1 Accordingly, we begin by describing, in broad terms, the labor market skills possessed by Hispanic Americans and how these skills compare with those of non-Hispanics.

One of the most important and easiest to observe dimensions of human capital is educational attainment, and Chapter 6 has documented the obstacles faced by Hispanic children in U.S. schools. Table 7-1 shows the substantial gaps in completed education that exist for Hispanic adults. Based on microdata from the 2000 census, the table reports average years of schooling—by gender, ethnicity, and nativity—for individuals between the ages of 25 and 59.2 In addition to presenting statistics for Hispanics as an aggregate group, we display separate results for Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans, the three Hispanic national-origin groups with the largest U.S.-born populations.3 We also present comparable statistics for non-

1  

See, for example, Altonji and Blank (1999); Antecol and Bedard (2002, 2004); Bean and Stevens (2003); Bean and Tienda (1987); Bean, Trejo, Capps, and Tyler (2001); Carlson and Swartz (1988); Carnoy, Daley, and Hinojosa-Ojeda (1993); Cotton (1985); Darity, Guilkey, and Winfrey (1995); DeFreitas (1991); Grogger and Trejo (2002); Gwartney and Long (1978); McManus, Gould, and Welch (1983); Reimers (1983); Smith (1991, 2001); Trejo (1996, 1997, 2003).

2  

We focus on individuals in this age range because they are old enough that virtually all of them have completed their schooling, yet they are young enough that observed labor market outcomes reflect their prime working years.

3  

Appendix Table A7-1 reports standard errors and sample sizes for the estimates in Table 7-1, as well as analogous calculations for other Hispanic subgroups. Throughout this chapter, appendix tables provide further details of the tables and charts presented in the text. All statistics reported in this chapter make use of the relevant sampling weights.



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