Fewer Latinos Enrolling In College Courses In the US

In addition to dropping out of college, men are also leaving their jobs, with one in nine among the 25-54 age group outside the labor market

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May 10, 2023 | 06:00 AM

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Bloomberg Línea — Enrollment in US colleges and universities continues to decline, according to figures from the past two years, with men leading the desertion, according to the Aspen Institute.

At 63.4%, Hispanic males led the post-pandemic college enrollment decline, but the drop in 2021 was predominantly among non-Hispanic white males (57.3%); followed by non-white, non-Hispanic males (52.6%); and lastly, Hispanic males (51.1%).

“Among all recent high school graduates, college enrollment rates fell from 66.2% in 2019 to 61.8% in 2021″, the report says.

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Overall, for males, only 54.9% of high school graduates enrolled in college in 2021, down from 62% in 2019. Among women, enrollment rates dropped slightly, from 69.8% to 69.5% in the two years surveyed.


“Newly released data for 2022 indicate that declines may be slowing; overall enrollment is holding steady at 62%, and the male college enrollment rate was 57.1% in 2022, which is higher than in 2021, but still below pre-pandemic levels,” preliminary data show.

Although those who do not graduate limit their chances of integrating into a quality workforce, in 2021, above all, what led men to not enroll in college was the need to devote themselves to home and family care (10.3%).

This factor could also be observed among women, but in a smaller proportion (13.7%).


Dropping out of work

A phenomenon that was also observed during the last 40 years was the abandonment of the labor force by non-university-graduate men. This could be related to a decline in social status relative to their higher-paid peers, according to a paper published by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston during 2022.

“Younger white men in particular are more inclined to drop out of the labor market when their expected wages fall in relative terms,” explained Pinghui Wu, author of the study.

Thus, one in nine men in the so-called optimal working age group (25 to 54) is out of the labor market today, compared with one in 50 in the mid-1950s.

According to Bloomberg, the study attributes part of the blame to growing income inequality in the US in recent decades.

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Other factors, cited by various economists, could be the decline in manufacturing jobs traditionally held by men, an increase in household income thanks to women, and an increase in government assistance and addictions.

Meanwhile, wages, discounting inflation, fell 17% per week for non-college-graduate men over the past 40 years, while their college-educated peers experienced a 20% increase.

Women outpaced men with a 32% increase, although the increase is enhanced because started from a much lower base.

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