A new report released by the Brookings Institution dispels the myth that all immigrants are unskilled, uneducated, and illegal. The Geography of Immigrant Skills: Educational Profiles of Metropolitan Areas, finds that the share of working-age immigrants in the United States who have at least a bachelor’s degree is greater than the share who lack a high-school diploma. Moreover, immigrants with college degrees outnumber immigrants without high-school diplomas by wide margins in more than two-fifths of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.
This is against the populist belief that immigrants are unskilled or undocumented by large. Actually, most of the immigrants are highly educated.
In 1980, only 19 percent of working-age immigrants in the United States had a college degree, while nearly 40 percent lacked a high-school diploma. By 2010, 30 percent had a college degree and only 28 percent lacked a high-school diploma.
In 44 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, immigrants with college degrees outnumber immigrants without high-school diplomas by at least 25 percent.
Despite popular perceptions, there are just as many high-skilled as low-skilled working-age immigrants currently living in the United States, and the growth rate of more educated arrivals to the United States now outpaces that of immigrants with little education.
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA metropolitan area has a 13% immigrants in the workforce with a combined skill ratio of 119 (over 100 is good). The immigrant population for our metro area is at 713,333 with 152,799 low skilled immigrants, 238,983 with mid-skilled immigrants and 182,524 high skilled immigrants.
This is another proof that the real facts are often hidden in the immigration debate and we do need to get these things resolved in order to continue and enjoy high skilled immigrants.
The report is available at: http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2011/06_immigrants_singer.aspx