Study Finds Africans Among Best Educated US Immigrants
More than 2 million immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa live in the United States. A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that they are, on average, college-educated and employed. In fact, they are more likely than native-born Americans to have pursued advanced degrees. And they are employed at about the same rates as the general population.
The study is important for several reasons. First, it shows that most sub-Saharan Africans living in the U.S. do not fit a stereotype of a struggling, out-of-work person with little schooling.
The study also shows that the sub-Saharan African immigrant population is different in the U.S. than in Europe. For example, in the U.S. more than two out of three sub-Saharan African immigrants have at least some college education. In Britain, half do. In France, one in three do. And in Italy, only one in ten has had higher education.
In addition, sub-Saharan African immigrants in the U.S. are more likely than those in Europe to be working. The Pew study found that employment rates were about equal to the general population in each country. About 93 percent of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the U.S. are working, compared to 92 percent in Britain and 80 percent in Italy.
Monica Anderson is a researcher at Pew and one of the writers of the report. She told VOA that the research team wanted to compare the backgrounds of African immigrants in the U.S. to those in Europe.
“What we found is that the sub-Saharan African immigrant population [in the U.S.] really stands out, and that they are a very highly educated group,“ Anderson said over the phone.
The Pew study is based on 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Eurostat’s Labor Force Survey.