“A larger percentage of foreign-born than native-born residents had a master’s degree or higher in 2007, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nationally, 11 percent of foreign-born — people from another country now living in the United States — and 10 percent of U.S.-born residents had an advanced degree.”
Could this trend impact some claims about increased degree holders in Kentucky and around the rest of the country? You bet it does.
The document referenced by the news release, “Educational Attainment in the United States: 2007” shows in Table 2 that in Kentucky only 19.6 percent of native-born residents age 25 or more in 2007 held a Bachelor’s Degree or more while a whopping 34.5 percent of foreign-born residents did.
Only three states, Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia had lower percentages of native-born residents with degrees in 2007. Here’s how Kentucky ranks based on our analysis of the data in the Census’ Table 2.
Percent Native Born Residents in Each State Age 25 and over
with Bachelor’s Degree or More
Keep in mind that a 25-year old in 2007 probably graduated from high school in 2000, two years after our CATS testing started. Also, educated people are probably among the most mobile populations in the country, so some impact on the results could be due to people educated here moving elsewhere. However, even though the Census is primarily reporting on an older age group, with a decade of KERA era high school graduates now included, some impact from the KERA period should be starting to show in these Census results. Certainly, the numbers here cannot support any claims of success from KERA.