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Pew Hispanic Center: Changing Latino Pathways to Adulthood


More Work, More School - But Gaps Remain

Latino youths (ages 16 to 25) are more likely to be in school or in the workforce now than their counterparts had been in 1970. Yet significant gaps remain, not only between the educational attainment of Latino and white youths, but between the high value that Latino youths place on a college education and their more modest aspirations to get a college degree themselves, according to a pair of analyses of new survey data and Census data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. 

A new Pew Hispanic Center nationwide survey of Latinos indicates that nearly nine in ten Hispanic youths say that a college education is important for success in life, but that only about half that share say they themselves plan to get a college degree. The biggest reason young Latinos cut their education short is financial pressure to help support a family. The new survey findings are in the"Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap" report.

 A supplemental analysis of Census Bureau data from 1970 to 2007, "The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths Into Adulthood," finds that Hispanics -- who account for 18% of all youths in the United States ages 16 to 25, up from 5% in 1970 -- are more likely now than in the past to be engaged in skill-building activities such as work or school. However, all youths in the United States are more likely now than in 1970 to be engaged in school or work, and the gap between Hispanics and whites on this measure has not closed.

The reports, "Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap," authored by Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center, and "The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths Into Adulthood," authored by Richard Fry, Senior Research Associate, Pew Hispanic Center, are available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website,

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Mary Seaborn
Paul Fucito



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