The Difficulties of Tracking California’s Richly Diverse Population
In a new blog post, California Competes Senior Researcher David Radwin explores why studying education and workforce outcomes by race and ethnicity is so confusing in California. We had an opportunity to delve into several different datasets during the development of the California Postsecondary to Prosperity Dashboard. In this post, we discuss how varying categories of race and ethnicity often make it difficult to compare how different groups live, learn, and work across the state.
The post also illustrates why it is so important to avoid grouping Californians into overly broad racial and ethnic categories. For example, the Dashboard shows that 61 percent of Asian Californians have earned a bachelor’s degree, but that figure contains a range of contrasting experiences. At one end of the spectrum, 46 percent of Southeast Asians completed a bachelor’s degree, and at the other end of the spectrum, 79 percent of South Asians did so—a difference of 32 percentage points!