African immigrants excel highest in US academics


The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education in 2001 and the Harvard Educational Review  both studied past census data in a study to determine where African immigrants fall on the educational spectrum in the States. And in recent times, the resurgence of those findings continue to champion Africans’ scholarly leaps. African immigrants obtain a diploma at a rate twice higher than US-born white Americans and four times when compared to that of African-Americans.

A report on African Immigrants and Educational Attainment reveals the numbers in clear fashion: “African immigrants to the US are among the most educated groups in the United States. Some 48.9 percent of all African immigrants hold a college diploma. This is more than double the rate of native-born white Americans, and nearly four times the rate of native-born African-Americans. According to the 2000 Census, the rate of college diploma acquisition is highest among Egyptian Americans at 59.7 percent, followed closely by Nigerian Americans at 58.6 percent.”

In 1997, 19.4 percent of all adult African immigrants in the United States held a graduate degree, compared to 8.1 percent of adult white Americans and 3.8 percent of adult black Americans in the United States, respectively. According to the 2000 Census, the percentage of Africans with a graduate degree is highest among Nigerian Americans at 28.3 percent, followed by Egyptian Americans at 23.8 percent.


Of the African-born population in the United States aged 25 and older, 87.9 percent reported having a high school degree or higher, compared with 78.8 percent of Asian-born immigrants and 76.8 percent of European-born immigrants, respectively. Africans from Kenya (90.8 percent), Nigeria (89.1 percent), Ghana (85.9 percent), Botswana (84.7 percent), and Malawi (83 percent) were the most likely to report having a high school degree or higher.

Those born in Cape Verde (44.8 percent) and Mauritania (60.8 percent) were the least likely to report having completed a high school education.

The only caveat to these numbers is that they will have to be adjusted for the past 14 years; in addition, there has not been an educational analysis done of the 2010 Census findings as of this writing.