April 1, 2023
California’s highly educated immigrants
SAN FRANCISCO – (INT) - Recent immigrants to California are among the most educated residents of the state.

A majority (52%) of working-age immigrants (ages 25–64) arriving over the past ten years have a bachelor’s or graduate degree, compared to just 29% of immigrants arriving earlier and 41% of US-born Californians. Recent arrivals from Asia are particularly highly educated. But for every region of origin, the trend is toward much more highly educated immigrants.

These trends are partly a response to the strong job market for college graduates in California, the Public Policy Institute of California observed.

Immigrants make up 27% of the state’s workers ages 25–64 with a bachelor’s degree, and an even higher share (36%) of those with a graduate degree. Highly educated immigrants in California work in a broad set of industries, including manufacturing, information, professional services, and health care and social assistance, but are especially concentrated in technology and health care sectors. For example, over 60% of college-educated workers in electronic and computer equipment manufacturing are immigrants, as are almost half of college graduates working in skilled nursing facilities.

Consistently, occupations with a large share (and number) of immigrants include software developers, computer and information systems managers, engineers, physical scientists, and registered nurses.

College-educated immigrants live predominantly in the state’s coastal metropolitan areas, particularly the Bay Area. This geographic pattern reflects local economies, with technology and high-skilled jobs concentrated in those regions. The state’s rural and agricultural counties attract far fewer college graduates.
Story Date: January 30, 2023
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