The NALS provides the most extensive data on the largest numbers of race-ethnic groups of any previous survey. Table 5 shows the percentage of race-ethnic groups falling into each of the live levels of the NALS prose scales. Large percentages (20-89) of Hispanics from the various regions were born outside the United States and generally had Spanish as their primary language. For the most part, the Hispanic groups with large numbers born outside the United States performed more poorly than Blacks on the literacy scales. This is a reversal from the findings of the young adult literacy survey. In that survey, however, people who could not read English were excluded from the survey. Because Hispanics born in the United States are more likely to speak and read English, their scores are higher on the literacy scales. For instance, in the table above, the Hispanic / Other category includes those who were mostly (68 percent) born in the United States, and their scores are higher than the scores for Blacks. Large percentages (78) of Asian/Pacific Islanders were also born outside the United States. A category of "Other" is also given in the NALS report but is not included in Table 5.
Across the age span, Hispanics (grouped together) had fewer years of education (average of 10.2 years) than did Whites (12.8) or Blacks (11.6). Through ages 55-64 Asian/Pacific Islanders had the most years of education (average of 13 years), while among those over age 65, Whites had the most education.
The NALS included a national sample of inmates in federal and state prisons. The sample confirmed what is widely understood in showing that the
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