Educational attainment and unemployment among Asians in the United States
December 14, 2011
A notable characteristic of the Nation's Asians is their high rate of educational attainment. Fifty-two percent of those ages 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher in the 2008–2010 period, considerably more than the average of 29 percent for non-Asians.
In the 2008–2010 period, Asian Indians had the highest levels of educational attainment: 35 percent had a bachelor's degree, 30 percent had a master's degree, and 11 percent had a professional or doctoral degree.
While no other Asian group had such a high level of educational attainment, all except Vietnamese were more likely to be college graduates than were non-Asians. Vietnamese were about as likely as were non-Asians to have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Unemployment rates for non-Asians varied substantially by educational attainment. Non-Asians ages 25 and older with less than a high school diploma had a rate of 13.0 percent, 9.1 percentage points higher than the 3.9 percent rate for non-Asians with a bachelor's degree or higher. The gap for Asian groups was less pronounced. The jobless rate for Chinese ages 25 and older with less than a high school diploma was 5.5 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than the rate for their counterparts with at least a bachelor's degree (4.2 percent). For most of the Asian groups, the rates for those with less than a high school diploma were lower than for non-Asians, and the rates for those with at least a bachelor's degree tended to be slightly higher.
Data for this article are from the Current Population Survey program. To learn more, see "Asians in the U.S. labor force: profile of a diverse population," by Mary Dorinda Allard, in the November 2011 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The Other Asians group includes individuals who were of an Asian group not listed as well as those who were of two or more Asian groups.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Educational attainment and unemployment among Asians in the United States on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20111214.htm (visited September 21, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Women in the workforce before, during, and after the Great Recession
A look at trends and projections in the labor force participation of women from the 1950s to 2024.
Employer-sponsored healthcare coverage across wage groups
A look at the relationship between employee wages and access to, participation in, and costs of employer-sponsored medical, dental, and vision care benefit plans.
Sports and Exercise
A look at participation and time spent in sports and exercise activities.
Women at Work
A look at women's labor force participation and earnings, how women spend their time and money, the nature of fatal work injuries, and labor force projections for the future.