Just 16% of California Latinos have college degrees compared with 39% of all California adults, an education gap for Latinos that is reflected widely across the country, according to data compiled by a nonprofit research and advocacy group.
The national and state-by-state data was compiled from various official sources and released Tuesday by Washington, D.C.-based Excelencia in Education.
A focus on education is especially timely for Latinos given the younger age of that population, said study author Deborah A. Santiago. The median age for Latinos nationwide is 27 versus 40 for the entire population. Ten states have a median Latino age of 22 or 23. In only five states are most Latinos older than 27 and no state has a median Latino age higher than 33.
The median age for Latinos is 27 in California, compared with 38 for white residents.
Latinos are “really ready to benefit from college education,” Santiago said.
The college gap is especially portentous for California, where 38% of the population is Latino as well as half of all grade-school students. About 75% of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are Latino.