Black Immigrant Model Minorities

Clarence Page takes a closer look at a well-camouflaged model minority in the U.S.—new black immigrants.

WASHINGTON-Do African immigrants make the smartest Americans? The question may sound outlandish, but if you were judging by statistics alone, you could find plenty of evidence to back it up.

In a side-by-side comparison of 2000 census data by sociologist John R. Logan at the Mumford Center, State University of New York at Albany, black immigrants from Africa average the highest educational attainment of any population group in the country, including whites and Asians.

For example, 43.8 percent of African immigrants had achieved a college degree, compared to 42.5 of Asian Americans, 28.9 percent for immigrants from Europe, Russia and Canada, and 23.1 percent of the U.S. population as a whole.

That defies the usual stereotypes of Asian Americans as the only “model minority.” Yet the traditional American narrative has rendered the high academic achievements of black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean invisible, as if it were a taboo topic.

UPDATE: Please read the attached comment, which far outweighs this blogpost.



Filed under Africa, U.S.

39 responses to “Black Immigrant Model Minorities

  1. Dave

    African Immigrants:

    African-born blacks comprise 16 percent of the U.S. foreign-born black population and are considerably more educated than other black immigrants (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2000). The vast majority comes from minority white countries in East and West Africa (e.g. Kenya and Nigeria), and less than 2 percent originate from North or South Africa (World Factbook 2004; Yearbook of immigration Statistics 2003).

    In an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Journal of Blacks in higher education African immigrants to the United States were found more likely to be college educated than any other immigrant group. African immigrants to the U.S. are also more highly educated than any native-born ethnic group including white Americans (Logan & Deane, 2003; Dixon, 2006; Journal of Blacks in higher education, 1999-2000; Onwudiwe, 2006; Otiso and Smith, 2005; The Economist, 1996). Some 48.9 percent of all African immigrants hold a college diploma. This is slightly more than the percentage of Asian immigrants to the U.S., nearly double the rate of native-born white Americans, and nearly four times the rate of native-born African Americans (The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 26 (Winter, 1999-2000), pp. 60-61).

    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 whites and 3.8 percent of adult blacks in the United States, respectively (The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 26 (Winter, 1999-2000), pp. 60-61). This information suggests that America has an equally large achievement gap between whites and African immigrants as there is between white and black Americans.

    The Canadian sociological literature on immigrants also paints a similar picture, however, less stark. All visible-minority immigrant groups whether from the Caribbean or India do better academically than their native born (non-visible) cohorts, on average. Both foreign-born and Canadian-born blacks have graduation rates that exceed those of other Canadians. Similar patters of educational over-achievements are reached with years of schooling and with data from the 1994 Statistics Canada survey. (Guppy and Davies, 1998; Boyd, 2002).

    In the UK, 1988, the Commission for Racial Equality conducted an investigation on the admissions practices of St. George’s, and other medical colleges, who set aside a certain number of places for minority students. This informal quota system reflected the percentage of minorities in the general population. However, minority students with Chinese, Indian, or black African heritage had higher academic qualifications for university admission than did whites (Blacks in Britain from the West Indies had far lower academic credentials than did whites). In fact, blacks with African origins over the age of 30 had the highest educational qualifications of any ethnic group in the British Isles. Thus, the evidence pointed to the fact that minority quotas for University admissions were actually working against students from these ethnic groups who were on average more qualified for higher education than their white peers (Cross, 1994; Also see, C, Dustmann, N, Theodoropoulos, 2006).

    According to the report The State of Working Britain, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the highly regarded London School of Economics, 21 % of adult blacks in Britain with African origins have a university degree. Only 14 percent of adult white Britons are college educated. It has also been shown that black immigrants from Africa earn more money than do native born white Britons (C, Dustmann, N, Theodoropoulos, 2006):

    Of the African-born population in the United States age 25 and older 86.4% reported having a high school degree or higher, compared with 78. 9% of Asian born immigrants and 76.5% of European born immigrants, respectively. These figures contrast with 61.8% percent of the total foreign-born population. Immigrants groups in general tend to have higher high school graduation rates than the native-born general American population.

    Those Africans born from Zimbabwe (96.7 percent), Botswana (95.5 percent), and Malawi (95 percent) were the most likely to report having a high school degree or higher. Those born in Cape Verde (44.8 percent), Mauritania (60.8 percent), and Somalia (63.3 percent) were the least likely to report having completed a high school education (Dixon, D., 2006)..

    Of the European born those born in Bulgaria (92.6 percent), Switzerland (90.5 percent), and Ireland (90.4 percent) were the most likely to report having a high school degree or higher. Those born in Portugal (42.9 percent), Italy (53.7 percent), and Greece (59.9 percent) were the least likely to report having completed a high school education (Dixon, D., 2006).

    Of the Asian born Mongolia (94.8 percent), Kuwait (94.7 percent), the United Arab Emirates (94.5 percent), and Qatar (94.3 percent) were most likely to report having a high school degree or higher. Those born in Laos (48.1 percent), Cambodia (48.4 percent), and Yemen (49.9 percent) were the least likely to report having completed a high school education (Dixon, D., 2006).. (Most people think the Asian group includes Orientals exclusively, this is not true)

    Dodoo (1997) finds that while African immigrants are indeed the most educated of black groups in the U.S., he finds a negative return on African immigrants’ education attainment for diplomas obtained outside the United States. However, the same does not hold true for Caribbean immigrants. Although he finds that among blacks – native and immigrants – Africans earn the most, when earning-related endowments such as educational attainments are included in the analysis, this expected African advantage disappears (Dodoo, 1997).

    The African born and Employment:

    The African born are concentrated in management or professional and sales or office-related occupations. Of the employed population age 16 and older in the civilian labor force, the African born were much more likely than the foreign born in general to work in management and professional occupations as well as sales and office occupations. Additionally, the African born were less likely to work in service, production, transportation, material moving, construction, and maintenance occupations than the foreign born in general.

    Ethiopians, Sudanese and Somalis, who mostly immigrate as refugees, do not do as well as their counterparts from English speaking African countries such as Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya. The reason was because most people from the three countries immigrate to the United States as refugees and asylum seekers, following crises in their home countries (Otiso and Smith, 2005).

    Source Materials:

    African Immigrants in the United States are the Nation’s Most Highly Educated Group. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 26 (Winter, 1999-2000), pp. 60-61doi:10.2307/2999156

    African-Born Blacks in the United Kingdom Are Far More Likely than Whites to Hold a College Degree. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 34 (Winter, 2001-2002), pp. 29-31 doi:10.2307/3134095

    African-Born U.S. Residents are the Most Highly Educated Group in American Society The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 13 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 33-34 doi:10.2307/2963153

    Boyd, M. (2002). Educational Attainments of Immigrant Offspring: Success or Segmented Assimilation?

    C, Dustmann, N, Theodoropoulos (2006): Ethnic Minority Immigrants and their Children in Britain. Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Department of Economics, University College London

    Cross, T. (1994). Black Africans Now the Most Educated Group in British Society. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 3 (spring, 1994), pp.92-93

    Dixon, D. (2006). Characteristics of the European Born in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. February, 2005

    Dixon, D. (2006). Characteristics of the African Born in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. January, 2006

    Dixon, D. (2006). Characteristics of the Asian Born in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. April 2006

    Dodoo, F. N-A (1997). Assimilation differences among Africans in America. Social Forces 76: 527-46

    Gelatt, J. and Dixon, D. (2006). Detailed Characteristics of the Caribbean Born in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. July 2006.

    Gelatt, J. and Dixon, D. (2006). Detailed Characteristics of the South American Born in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. May 2006.

    Guppy, Neil and Scott Davies (1998). Education in Canada: Recent Trends and Future Challenges. Ottawa: Statistics Canada and the Minister of Industry.

    Kefa M. Otiso and Bruce W. Smith, (2005). “Immigration and Economic Restructuring in Ohio’s Cities, 1940-2000”, Ohio Journal of Science, 105 (5): 133-137 December 2005

    Logan, J.R, Deane, G (2003). “Black Diversity in Metropolitan America.” Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban Regional Research University Albany

    Onwudiwe, E. (2006). “Reflections on African Brain Gain Movement.”

    The Economist (1996). 339 (7965): 27-28

    In Educational Attainment, Black Immigrants to the United States Outperform Native-Born White and Black Americans. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education © 2003 CH II Publishers

  2. Colin

    This is a most interesting bit of information. For years, the public has been fed the stereotypical images of blacks being a particular drain ( more than any other group) on the American economy and by extension the social services.
    People from the Caribbean, who, for the most part are blacks, have long followed in a tradition of excelling in academics as a means of social advancement. They tend also not to be as intimidated by the American system as, apparently, are many African-Americans. Yet it is ironic that the media continue to privilege the “hardworking” Asians over and above other groups. Once again we have evidence here of blacks needing to tell their own story.

  3. Huh

    Eh… how are you comparing African international students with Asian Americans students? International students are always cream of the crop of their respective countries/areas. The statistic would mean something if you compared African international students with Asian international students…

  4. Dave

    In an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Journal of Blacks in higher education, African immigrants to the United States were found more likely to be college educated than any other immigrant group, which included those from Europe, North America and Asia ( see U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2000). African immigrants have also been shown to be more highly educated than any native-born ethnic group including white and Asian Americans (see also, Logan & Deane, 2003; Williams, 2005; The Economist, 1996; Arthur, 2000; Selassie, 1998).

  5. Hmm

    Hmm….Does “African” immigrants also include Egyptians? White South Africans? and other North Africans who are not “black”. And why do these AFrican immigrants if they are doing so well have affirmative action apply to them? As an Asian American, I think these stats are misleading and affirmative action for me, applying to colleges doesn’t apply to me.

    So I’d like to find out about why affirmative action applies to black africans (I don’t think it applies to egyptians who are not black) and who is included under “african”.


      This is such as stupid comment. I am responding to your comment with a sense of guilt and a great regret but you left me with no option. Affirmative action my Asian friend? i hope you do realize that they are talking about graduation here. So, lets say they got into college on affirmative action ok, thats does not mean that they will graduate ( in other words they could be kicked-out). Asians never learn.

    • kenneth

      out of african immigrants nigerians are the highest achieving and are a majority of african immigrants these are nigerians white nigerians are serious minority so this is referring more to blacks blacks are the majority in africa.

  6. j

    African immigrants represent .2% of the U.S. population, yet make up 2/3 of the Black students at Harvard. Other prestigious colleges such as Penn, Cornell, and Stanford report the same exact findings that most of their Black students are first- or second- generation Americans, meaning that either their parents or grandparents immigrated from somewhere in Africa (most likely Nigeria, Ghana, or Ethiopia). The skewed ratio of the percentage of Africans in the American population (.2) to the percentage of African immigrants for each prestigious university (usually 6-8% of the student body) is what makes them a model minority. I go to Tufts University, and honestly most of the Black students I know are all 1st or 2nd generation Americans with parents or grandparents from Nigeria. Lots of them also have family members who have immigrated to London to try and make a better life also. I would say 7-8% of Tufts is made up of African immigrants, and the whole Black population (including native Black Americans) reaches 10%. In comparison to the census .2%, 8% is a lot of presence on the campus.

    AA; The current debate about AA is that it is needed, but not fulfilling its intention of helping native Black Americans. Instead, it is given to 1st and 2nd generation African students who have been pushed to excel by their families, and thus have credentials comparable or exceeding the other students in the applicant pools anyway.

  7. amit

    Hmm….Does “African” immigrants also include Egyptians? White South Africans? and other North Africans who are not “black”. And why do these AFrican immigrants if they are doing so well have affirmative action apply to them? As an Asian American, I think these stats are misleading and affirmative action for me, applying to colleges doesn’t apply to me.

    So I’d like to find out about why affirmative action applies to black africans (I don’t think it applies to egyptians who are not black) and who is included under “african”.


    Well said. It may be that African immigrants to the U.S. as a whole might be more educated than Asians – but there are a ton more Asians and take a particularly Asian group – like Indians and no African immigrant group comes close. And all African immigrants compiled together come close.

    I was reading an even sillier comparison that Nigerian Americans, compared to larger ethnic groups (like Asians or whites) were the most educated group.

    Nigerian Americans have a very low higher education rates compared to other national origin groups – take Indian Americans, or I’m sure Korean Amer, Chinese Americans.

    It’d also be good to know who are the african immigrants – are Egyptians (white not nubian egyptians) have very high education performance and of course white africans in other parts of Africa.

    And yes as an Asian, Affirmative action sucks – I know if I apply to an ivy league school and an black african immigrant applies to an ivy league school – I won’t be able to get in with the same low criteria as a black immigrant. Which is one thing that the “journal for blacks in higher ed” is saying – that the traditional affirmative action slots are going to many new african immigrants (who are of course the cream of the crop) – affirmative action doesn’t apply to asian americans.

    Also what does this higher education says – african immigrants are a poor group – is it b/c they are not getting their education in a good place? Where are they getting their degrees from…those things are important to consider….and yes, Asians do not have affirmative action benefit them in school applications.

    • kenneth

      You are really only questioning them because they are black african.You just cant believe it.If there was an article that europeans immigrants were the highest achieving in africa you would agree most african immigrants work in business or science so theres proof. their degrees arent fraud face facts i accepted them i moved on!

    • Nigeria123

      dude what are you talking about and where are you getting ur stats from? I think its funny that you have no idea grouping asians as a high achieving group and don’t separate by nationality but ‘ooooh man, when it comes to those African ppl, there’s no way as a group they can out perform Asians’ Dude, sorry to bust you rosy little asian kids are the smartest bubble but statistically, africans and their kids, and yes that includes Nigerians, Ghanians, Egyptians, outperform Asian immigrants and their kids. And this may come as a shock but the reason why african kids (and white/arab egyptians view themselves as African just like black africans, there isn’t such a desire to subcategorize ourselves like in the Asian culture) get into the schools is because they work just as hard, if not harder to get there. And Nigerian’s actually have some the highest educational attainment rates, if you don’t believe me, look it up

  8. Anita

    I wanted to say that I married a Nubian from Egypt. Why is it so hard for people to believe that Blacks (Africans) can achieve a degree at a higher rate than Asian or Whites. If you didn’t know, Nubian means black. And Blacks are in North Africa. It’s just like people who want to include Egypt as part of the Middle East, when it’s actually in Africa. It’s only associated with the Middle East cause the primary language is Arabic. Yes America, Blacks aren’t as ignorant as you portray us to be. It’s just that in most African countries as well as the Caribbean, an education is the ultimate goal. They take it seriously, cause it’s the way out for them. So all of you people “hating” on us need to stop. You make me sick crying about affirmative action. Affirmative action is not just for us, it’s for the handicapped, obese, elderly and other ethnic groups as well. You cry cause you don’t know of the injustices we went through and still are going through today and it’s 2008. If it weren’t for my ancestors BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS alot of the rights immigrants have today would not exists. If you don’t know of our contributions to America, then, I suggest you get active in BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

  9. Wole'

    This one is for Dave. What the heck does this mean? “The vast majority comes from minority white countries in East and West Africa (e.g. Kenya and Nigeria)” You seems to be implying a benefit through association with whites. These are African countries not “minority white countries.”
    This is typical of the traditional narrative in western media that has sought to devalue african achievements as if Africans cannot succeed without whites. The numbers speak for themselves.

  10. Black Dude

    Why does everyone think that Affirmative Action benefits blacks? The reality is that the biggest beneficiary of Affirmative Action has been white women.

    • JC

      Affirmative Action’s main purpose and intent is to push white males down to the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Affirmative Action discriminates against these white women’s male children so how exactly does that benefit white women the most?

      • Blambo

        “The unhappy persistence of both the practices
        and lingering effects of racial discrimination against minorities in this country is an unfortunate reality, and the government is not disqualified from acting in response to it.”
        —-Supreme Court Justice O ‘CONNOR——

        After examining the prodigious amount of evidence posted here that Black Africans are just as capable or more so than other racial groups of attaining academic excellence I have come to this conclusion: The only White males who have to worry about Affirmative Action are those who don’t have the brains to compete academically. And that goes for the Asians and Asian Indians too.

    • Asian Student

      Nonsense . While white women do qualify under affirmative action, their standardized test scores and GPA’s still far exceed those of African Americans. Most Asians have a snowball’s chance in hell getting into an Ivy League. An Asian kid would have to have an average of 500 points more on the old SAT’s to have the same chance as an African American. And that doesn’t even include the extracurriculars. To get into a first tier Ivy, an Asian (Chinese, Korean, Indian) would have to win the Intel science fair or be on the national Physics Olympaid, etc. Perfect SATs, GPA and standard EC’s are not enough. All Affirmative Action does is reward failure and punish success. And when a black person proudly proclaims having graduated from an Ivy, I don’t even consider that be anything exemplary.

      • Elle

        Factual inacuracies notwithstanding, that’s quite a stretch Asain Student. Even if you manage to make a persuasive argument that all black students admitted to Ivy League schools are admitted solely as a result of Affirmative Action, are you seriously now implying that those who graduate somehow did not earn their degree–that Affirmative Action carries through to how they are graded while in said schools, thus to graduation? Clearly breadth of thought is not your strongest suit Asain Student. And there perhaps we may have identified the true reason for your “snowball’s chance in hell.”

      • Blambo

        The subject of this thread refers to Black African Immigrants, not native born African Americans. The evidence suggests that Black African immigrants are outperforming ALL whites, female or male, as well as Asians, on Standardized tests and GPAs in America and the UK!

        The Princeton study by Thomas Espenshad you seem to be referencing
        is not applicable here. Espenshad apparently used statistics comparing native born African Americans to other ethnic groups but this thread is about the comparison of Black African Immigrants academic prowess to other ethnicities.

      • Zize

        Asian Student,

        I am from Nigeria and while applying to schools in the US I needed the same stats you referenced above. To be competitive for my choice school: Caltech, Harvard etc. I took part in IYPT, Math and Physics Olympiads, aimed for 1400 and above on old SAT. All while still in Africa. Do you really think people coming from foreign countries have d vaguest idea what affirmative action is?
        As an international student I had to score much higher than the general popln to even have a chance. How I wish the stereotype on ppl who look like me was that we were overachievers and do not need affirmative action. Then maybe they would work harder just like you are.

      • Nigeria123

        you my friend are bitter, and a hater. I’m sorry that you BELIEVE what ur saying is true and that YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE the hype that the media has given you all these years. What i find sad is that the same media that subscribes you to that category refuses to see you folks as anything else. Your only limited to being the smart, nerdy asians. You’re not artists, musicians, business owners (restaurants i guess could count, sad but true), creative, etc because the world only sees you as the math and science student that always gets into the ivy league and nothing more. Doesn’t that bother you??? If we want to speak of stereotypes, you might want to work on fixing your own.

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  14. onyekachi

    it is so good to know that blacks are doing great.thanks sis for ur exposition.i realy do appreciate it.

  15. Excellent article. As an African-born Canadian who knows my community pretty well, I’ve always suspected this. Education is foremost in my native culture, so when given the opportunity, we tend to make full use of it.

    I find the tone of some of these comments somewhat puzzling and unsettling. No one should feel threatened by this revelation. When a subjugated people find a way to do well and advance, it is a triumph for humanity, thus for all of us.

    Let us hope that all the various groups of this dysfunctional family called the human race, also find a way to do well, and that those who are already achieving at a high level, continue to do so.

  16. Blambo

    I kind of hoped the Asians would be more positive in celebrating the accomplishments of their fellow minorities, African Blacks. Instead, I see disbelief and unveiled jealousy. At the first opportunity an old standby, Affirmative Action, is thrust center stage to “explain” black progress. Perhap any Asians reading this will review the 2006 lawsuit filed by Jian Li against Princeton University citing discrimination due to Affrimative Action when his application was denied. Jian’s academic record, upon further scrutiny, was found to be less compelling than those he “thought” were “inferior” to his. He made the mistake of judging people by color and imagined quotas being responsible for every Black admitted ahead of him. He was wrong!

    The fact that African born Blacks in the UK, where there as no Affirmative Action at the time of the mentioned studies, should have dispelled all silly notions that “unqualified” Blacks were displacing “more qualified” Asians and Whites anywhere in the world of academia. I guess we have along way to gain acceptance from people who are rarely willing to give it even when due!

    • Nigeria123

      thats b/c, and pls and asians reading this, don’t be offended, but Asians for decades have always been seen as the model minority, kind of like the “acceptable” race to whites (which is beyond sad that a minority group feels the need to get approval of the “correct” way to live) and have been told by the media that really they are the only ones that academically are on par with whites which we know is not true. After a while when you grow up with that level of belief, when another group threatens to take away a standard that puts you on level with what is believed to be a race that we equate acceptance with as approval (and i don’t blame you for thinking that since we’re blatantly and subliminally being told this every day) then, i really think there is a real fear that they’ll no longer be the preferred group and thus any benefits that that relationship provided will disappear. Thats my theory

  17. I find many of the unfounded comments by users on this page very telling about how preconceptions seem to be deeply ingrained. A few things I would like to highlight are that not all Black people are African American – some are just African, or African immigrants, but in the US both are subject to discrimination based on skin color for Black Africans or nationality for Asian or White Africans…In the U.S it is important to note that the US is not a post-racial state – this means that discrimination occurs. You are assuming that if Affirmative Action was not there, people in the U.S will just act right and treat everyone the same. Affirmative action is to counter the discrimination and Affirmative Action that is on going in the US against all minority groups (including women). It should hence be considered necessary once discrimination goes away in this country and people are not turned away from jobs and education due to their status as a minority. African Americans doesnt mean that that you are bringing in LESS qualified people (this is a stereotype of how affirmative action works), everyone still takes the test, passes the exams and has to go through school/work etc… (and some of the time, they are facing discrimination in these spaces too so they are working twice as hard in these spaces).

    On other comments:
    1. that well if this is true lets see what race these Africans are is a problematic because once you pull in race to this, you are saying Black Africans can not be smart which is reminiscent of Darwinism and historical unscientific attempts to classify intelligence by race.

    2. For the Asian American that thought that Afrim. Action only helps black Americans, its problematic firstly because it means you dont realize that as an Asian American, you also face discrimination in this country— Secondly, its ironic because for the white Americans feel that they dont get in to college or certain jobs b/c of Affirmative action being applied to Asians and Blacks, they do not feel that one minority group deserves it and not another. Affirmative Action targets Asians as beneficiaries as well.

    3. Affirmative action doesn’t benefit black people the most — it has benefited white women the most historically statistically, percentage wise however you want to cut it. Anyone that thinks otherwise has been misinformed, or does not read publicly available literature on affirmative action or is in denial.

    4. Comparing Africans as a group with other minority groups is valid b/c your making comparisons based on minority status — No immigrant group will have an exact same number all the time (u cant say that u can never compare Korean or Asian Americans to White Americans because the numbers of white Americans are more — all comparisons for minority groups, Black Africans against women, African American, Caribbeans, foreign born Asians, Asian Americans are valid b/c they are all minority groups or some type of a group)

    • Misraim

      MS Tinga, I want to thank you for posting such an enlightening document. Hopefully, it will be read and used as food for thought by those among us interested in the truth.

      Some won’t be convinced by anything you or I might put forth to set the record straight, even in the face of a preponderance of evidence. They’ll just go back to listening to Rush Limbaugh and Fox news to satisfy their “scientific” obsessions in regards to phenotype and cognitive ability .

  18. Asrith Mompoint

    How do you plug in the numbers to make the comparison between ethnic races with the US census data if someone does not have any programs such as SPSS ?
    I would like to compare the rate of single-parents and high school dropout for Caribbean immigrants with single-parents of U.S. native-born American.

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  21. kenneth

    Those africans who came from a shithole dont go to another shithole. then Study besides its the same stats in UK explain that now and scotland no afirmative action there and the are not the cream of the top.Rich elite already educated people like and myself my mates friends stay in africa like the rich in europe stay in europethey only go out for holidays or business. people need to stop making excuse besides it showed in BBC news my work mates werent suprised besides whites africans dont even make 3 milion in any african country only as a whole.3 milion which is the number of african immigrants by the way but whites in nigeria are a minority so small its not even registered roughly about 200-300 and nigerians are the majority of african immigrants so they are obviosly black do the math what are peoples excuses now!I covered everything!

  22. This doesn’t come as a shock to me. I was born in Ethiopia and the school system was much harder there then in the U.S.A. When i moved back here in middle school i was shocked at how the kids were never motivated. The White, Asian and African American kids all did equally horrible. There is less pressure for native born kids to do well, whereas many African parents see education as a massively important aspect of life. Nearly everyone in my family is in either in medicine, engineering, or architecture. You are taught from a young age that school is your stepping stone to success. Same thing applies to Asian immigrants. Not to mention that while in Ethiopia i had to learn English on the same, if not higher, level as American kids and learn Amharic (which meant learning a whole new set of alphabets) and French. On top of Civics, which i guess was somewhat like government, we had to take every subject in English, and then take it again (with different and harder material) in Amharic. I remember learning about HIV/AIDS, its medical definition and it’s causes in 5th grade! The schools are also MUCH more strict. Getting hit in front of the class was considered funny rather than cruel. You had to suck it up and it made you tougher. The testing and grading is even a bigger nightmare. For every question you got wrong you would have an entire point taken off your grade. This doesn’t sound like much but when getting one question wrong on, say, ten tests equates to an entire grade deduction it really kills your grades. That’s why many African, Asian and European born kids with similar experiences get great grades in the U.S.A and England. The school-work is less stressful. Not to mention the differences in cultural up bringing and access to technology. Not that there isn’t technology or anything in Africa, but the amount of technological items children have is usually nothing compared to American/English children. The internet access i had was absolute shit and we only had middle eastern channels so you had to read in order to entertain yourself. This added on to the fact that there was more physical activity time given to you (three-two one hour-45 minute breaks a day up until college) means you get to run around letting off steam and resulting in better attitudes. Plus, most of the food you got was home made and fast food was relativity expensive, so you didn’t fill yourself with junk. This applies more or less to several Asian and European immigrants that excel in this country. BUT STILL GREAT TO SEE PEOPLE SUCCEED! (no matter what race!) :) Also great to see more and more people realizing that Africans aren’t the primitive, spear throwing, starving people that sadly many people believe them to be. (not that there is anything shameful with being in any one of those conditions considering you didn’t put yourself into them).

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  24. I am an African American university professor (my family has been in this country for generations–meaning, I am the great-great -great grandchild of enslaved African Americans). During my career, I have had African born students in my classes, particularly Nigerians. They always excelled and out performed everybody (whites, Asians, African Americans). I know for a fact that schools in places like Nigeria and Ghana have much higher standards than most public schools in the USA, because I have been to those nations as part of education teams.

    Equally amazing, I find Nigerians seem to have this endless desire to “learn” and they are always seeking a higher degree. My goddaughter is the child of Nigerian parents. The parents have doctorates, the girl is a medical doctor and her younger siblings, five of them, are all working on masters or doctoral degrees.

    Regardless of how few African born immigrants there are compared to Asian immigrants, the fact remains; African born immigrants have the highest educational attainment of all groups (immigrants and nation born). The notion that African immigrants are the elite of their country and that accounts for this high academic achievement is nonsense. The study certainly included elite Native-born Americans of every race and still African born immigrants out performed them. What these data suggest is we should not assume that one’s race determines if you have higher IQs or are more academically successful.

  25. Lola

    I just thought I’d add a little happy morsel to this great article. Here’s a link regarding Nigerian student Ufot Ekong who solved a 30 year math problem on his first semester in a Japanese university. Cheers!!!

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