Hispanics' education levels rocket up
By Laura Stace
Education levels attained by Miami-Dade County's Hispanic population have grown exponentially and are pulling ahead of other areas in the nation, experts and studies say.
The percentage of Hispanics with a bachelor's degree or higher has jumped from 10% in 2000 to 23% in ten years, said Edward Murray, associate director of Florida International University's Metropolitan Center.
Also, he said, the percentage of people within the Hispanic community who received less than a high school degree has dropped from 39% to 25% in the same period.
The Pew Hispanic Center recently released its study on the characteristics of the 60 largest metropolitan areas by Hispanic population.
Among the top 10 metropolitan areas by Hispanic population, the share of Hispanics aged 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree is highest in Miami, at 23%, the study said.
The second most educated area, according to the study, was San Francisco at 16%, followed by New York, San Antonio, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Riverside.
Dr. Murray said the Hispanic population in Miami-Dade County continues to diversify — a trend that has been on track for some years.
He said the Cuban population continues to grow, but not as fast as other groups from Central and South America.
Groups that have experienced the most growth in Miami-Dade County, he said, include natives of Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Miami's total population increased 13.3% from 2000 to 2011, Dr. Murray said. The Hispanic population, he said, grew 27.6% while the non-Hispanic population decreased 5.7%.
The overall Hispanic population in Miami was 65%, he said, with 54% being Cuban.
Pew also recently released a study on the ten largest Hispanic origin groups: characteristics, rankings and top countries of origin. The study revealed the nation's Cuban population is the most concentrated of all Hispanic populations. It said Miami was home to 48% of the nation's Cuban population, and also home to the largest Colombian, Honduran and Peruvian communities.
Data released by Miami-Dade's department of planning and zoning last year revealed that the Hispanic population accounted for 65.1% of Miami's population in 2010.
The supervisor of demographics for Miami-Dade County's Department of Planning and Zoning was not available for comment. However, a county spokesperson said the biggest draw for immigrants to Miami-Dade was current family members and communities with relatively large concentrations of persons from their home country.
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