Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the U.S. Are Often More Educated Than Those in Top European Destinations

Report Author: 
Monica Anderson & Phillip Connor
Original Date of Publication: 
April, 2018

More than a million sub-Saharan Africans have migrated to the United States and Europe since 2010. Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the U.S. Are Often More Educated Than Those in Top European Destinations by the Pew Research Center analyzed data from the United Nations, the U.S. Census Bureau's 2015 American Community Survey and Eurostat's 2015 Labor Force Survey to offer a current portrait of these migrants.

Immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who live in the U.S., United Kingdom, France and Portugal are more likely than native-born populations to have some college education. However, the education rate of these immigrants in the United States far surpasses all the others:  69 percent in the U.S. vs. 49 percent in the UK, 30 percent in France, and 27 percent in Portugal. The higher educational attainment rates of sub-Saharan immigrants in developed countries may be due to migration policies that favor those with higher education. Sub-Saharan immigrants in the U.S. had similar employment rates to U.S.-born, but those in Europe have lower employment rates than the native-born.

The report also found that a majority of sub-Saharan immigrants in the U.S. and Europe arrived more than a decade ago, with more than 25 percent residing in the destination country for more than 20 years. Colonial histories of some sub-Saharan countries might lead some immigrants to choose to immigrate to one country over another if they have a shared language. Regardless of when the immigrants arrived in the destination country, some are undocumented. Nearly one in seven sub-Saharan immigrants are undocumented, and an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 in Europe have an unknown asylum status. (Samah Rizvi for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

 

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Citation: 

Anderson, M. & Phillip, C. Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the U.S. Are Often More Educated Than Those in Top European Destinations. Retrieved from http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/04/24093425/Pew-Research-Center_Sub-Saharan-African-Immigrant-Profile-Report_2018-04-24.pdf

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