Contrasting U.S. Immigration Flows: Skilled and Unskilled

John F. Long, USA Demography

Studies of U.S. immigration should take account of the markedly different origins and characteristics of unskilled and skilled labor. The flow of immigrants 25 or over during the last 5 years from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean has more than 38 % with 8 years of schooling or less (compared to only 4 % for the native U.S. population). On the other hand, recent flows from Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, Australia, and Canada contain 50% of immigrants 25 or over with a college education (compared to only 27 % for the native U. S. population). This paper analyzes these differences using data from the American Community Survey data (as well as from historical census data). Recognition of the marked differences between these two types of flows provides insight into both substantive research and policy questions.

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Presented in Poster Session 5