More on the Asian higher education phenomenon

Many more Asians, first and later generations, now than in 2000, and far better educated than other groups.

The Asian population in the U.S. rose from 3.9 million in 1980 to 11.9 million in 2000, to 22.4 million in 2019.  That’s a rise from 1.7% to 7% of the entire population.

In 1970, Asian immigrants made up just 12% of the foreign-born population, compared to over 30% in 2019.

Asian Americans have the highest educational attainment of any racial group. In 2019, 54% of Asian Americans aged 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 36% of whites, 26% of blacks, and 20% of Hispanics.

Asian-Americans make up about 5% of the population of public high schools in the United States and were 22% of those admitted to Harvard’s freshman class this year. Asian-Americans make up 26% of the undergraduate enrollment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Of course, those numbers may not reflect the full extent of qualified Asian-American applicants. And there is no consensus on what data would actually demonstrate illegal discrimination. (Go here.)

There is significant variation among different Asian origin groups. In 2019, Indians, Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese Americans had much higher college completion rates (over 60%) than groups like Vietnamese, Hmong and Laotians (under 30%).



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