Fulfilling America’s Future Latinas in the U.S.

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U.S. Department of Education
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics


One in five women in the U.S. is a Latina. Recently, the popular press has focused a great deal on the educational gaps between men and women, especially men and women of color, and has suggested that, with respect to educational attainment, men are faring more poorly than women. In fact, Latinas are graduating from high school at higher rates than their male counterparts, and 60 percent of bachelor’s degrees earned by Latino/as go to women. Moreover, Latinas have made significant progress in a number of areas of education and wellbeing over the last decade. So why focus a report on the status of Latinas? Although Hispanic females are outperforming Hispanic males educationally, they are still earning less than their brothers in the labor market. And, they still have the lowest high school graduation and some of the lowest college completion rates of all women and are more likely to be living in poverty and as single heads of households than both white and Asian women. Importantly, Latinas are the linchpin of the next generation. Few things better predict a child’s educational outcomes than the education of his or her mother. If it is interrupted the cycle of disproportionate under-education and poverty among the Latino population, it is critical that we raise the education levels and living and working conditions of Latinas today.



Latin American women, educational attainment, college completion