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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Explaining Ethnic, Racial, and Immigrant Differences in Private School Attendance


Using 1990 Census microdata, we explore ethnic, racial and immigrant differences in private school attendance.  We find high rates of private school attendance among white natives, white immigrants, and Asian natives.  In contrast, we find low private school rates among black and Hispanic natives and immigrants, Asian immigrants, and other natives.  Variations in income per capita and especially parental education account for over 70% of the gap in private school attendance rates between white natives and all other groups.  We discuss ramifications for racial, language, and socioeconomic segregation in America's schools, and possible effects of school vouchers on segregation.

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