Leveraging Data to Ensure Equitable and Effective Adult Skills Programming for Immigrants
One in every six adults in the United States is an immigrant. These immigrant adults contribute to the vitality of local communities and economies across the country, but many also face barriers to integration and economic mobility, including limited English proficiency, varied levels of formal education, and persistent employment in low-wage jobs.
Adult skills programs within the nation’s workforce development and adult education systems offer services that are intended to address many of these challenges. Too often, however, the policies and program designs at the heart of these systems fail to account for important differences in the characteristics of the U.S.-born and immigrant adult populations, which can lead to programming that does not effectively and equitably meet the needs of immigrant adults.
This issue brief presents a profile of immigrant and U.S.-born adults, based on analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. It looks at characteristics such as age, parental status, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, English proficiency, and employment and income. The analysis identifies disparities between immigrant and U.S.-born adults in income, levels of formal education and employment type. It also discusses the implications of key data trends for adult skills programs.
2 General Demographics
3 Educational Attainment
4 English Proficiency
5 Income and Workforce Characteristics
6 Discussion and Conclusion