How will the increase in Hispanic graduation rates in the United States impact per capita income and overall poverty rates?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hello! If I understand your question correctly, you would like to know how increasing Hispanic graduation rates would impact per capita income and overall poverty rates.

The current Hispanic graduation rate for high school in the United States is about 75%. Recent gains in Hispanic graduation rates have boosted the national graduation rate. The goal is to graduate 90% of high school seniors by the year 2020.

So, how can the increase in Hispanic graduation rates affect per capita income and overall poverty rates?

1) Consider that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields offer the best return on investment for college majors; only 3% of Latina women are represented in STEM fields. Increasing high school graduation rates with an emphasis on STEM majors in college would raise per capita income among Hispanics. To prepare for STEM majors, increasing Hispanic student ratios in higher level AP classes would lead to an expansion of Hispanic opportunity. STEM level AP classes include physics, chemistry, calculus, and computer science. Preparation in middle school would be key to success in these higher level AP courses in high school.

2) Statistics have shown that Hispanic students who graduate high school are more likely to choose the collegiate path. It is also a statistical fact that college graduates earn more than high school graduates. Higher graduation rates lead to greater viability in the labor and job market, thus lowering the poverty rate and increasing per capita income among Hispanics.

3) Although Hispanics have the highest number of children in poverty (5.4 million), the increase in high school and college graduation rates among Hispanics have led to greater job opportunity and security. It has been reported that the median household income of Hispanics has increased by 3.5% to $40,963 (the poverty rate among Hispanics decreased from 25.6 % in 2012 to 23.5 % in 2013). Hispanics in this group were more likely to have greater fluency in English and to have achieved higher levels of education. This again correlates higher Hispanic graduation rates with lower poverty rates and higher per capita incomes among Hispanics.

4) The poverty rate for lower income Hispanics is still on the high end; more than 40% earn poverty level wages. For this group, investment in education and training opportunities would lead to lower poverty rates and higher per capita incomes in the future.

5) Hispanic business owners are more likely to have higher levels of education. TD Bank's most recent enterpreneurial survey found that Hispanic business owners are more likely to pursue business opportunities at a younger age than the general population. In the survey, more than 50% of Hispanic business owners had a college or post-graduate degree. Clearly, increasing high school graduation rates is key to closing the income gap for Hispanics.

I hope this helps. From the above statistics, you can see that higher Hispanic graduation rates lead to higher incomes and lower poverty rates among the Hispanic population in the United States. Thanks for the question.

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teachsuccess's profile pic

teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You're very welcome. It looks like my colleague above has answered your question nicely. Great question!

t-rashmi's profile pic

t-rashmi | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is used in education and immigration debates. The current education system is not able to provide innovators nor a workforce that can create and handle next generation technology. STEM is an initiative to encourage students, especially women, to take up science and technology subjects.

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