Over Half of Filipino-born Adults Have a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

“Filipino Immigrants Record Higher Levels of Postsecondary Learning than US Population Overall

That statistic that was the subject line of a message to 8asians about a spotlight on Filipino immigrants done by the Migration Policy Institute.   Using data from the US Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, the 2000 Census, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics for 2008, they compiled a variety of interesting facts about Filipino migrants to the US.  According to the data that they used, just over half of Filipino-born adults age 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2008 compared to 27.1 percent among all 31.9 million foreign-born adults and 27.8 percent of all 168.1 million native-born adults.

Other interesting facts:

  • Nearly one of every four employed Filipino-born women worked as a registered nurse.  (this includes The Wife, my mother, my sister-in-law, and a host of other Filipinas that I know!)
  • About 87,000 Filipino immigrants have served in the US Armed Forces (this includes my dad)
  • 46.7% of Filpino migrants live in California (that includes The Wife, my parents, my brother-in-law, etc…)

One thing to note is that these data points are presented without context.  For example, take the statistic that Filipino have more college education than the general US population.  That may be true, but as Efren points out,  the Filipino school system has no junior high school, so a 17 year old immigrant might have a year of college already while a comparable native born teen would still be in high school.  Also, the statistic says nothing about under-employment of Filipino immigrants.   I personally know trained dentists working as hygienists, doctors working as nurses, and college grads working as mailmen.

Other immigration information is available on other Asian (and non-Asian) migrant populations here, such as on  Koreans, Indians, and Chinese.

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About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
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