How Many Unauthorized Immigrants Graduate from U.S High Schools Annually?
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In this report, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that 98,000 undocumented students, ages 15 to 19, graduate from high school every year, a dramatic increase from the commonly used estimate of 65,000 students per year. MPI provides state-level estimates for the top 15 states, including California, which accounts for approximately 27,000 of the 98,000 graduating each year, Texas (17,000), Florida (5,000), New York (4,000), New Jersey (4,000), Illinois (4,000), Georgia (3,000), North Carolina (3,000), Virginia (2,000), Arizona (2,000), Maryland (2,000), Washington (2,000), Colorado (1,000), Nevada (1,000), and Massachusetts (1,000). Close to 20% (18,000) of all undocumented high school graduates live in other states. Both the expansion of in-state tuition through legislation or other action in over 20 states, as well as the DACA program, with its educational and work authorization provisions, represent important drivers in the increased high school graduation rates for immigrant youth.