The attainment rate among the African immigrant community has always been high.
Recent MPI studies indicate 41 percent have bachelor’s degree compared with only 33 percent of Americans. Over 16 percent have advanced degrees when entering the U.S.
According to Face2Face Africa, 38 percent of African students are undergraduates, while 45 percent are graduates and 42 percent of the graduates are enrolled in doctoral programs.
Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans lead the way in American academic population. Nigeria leads the way with 12,693, Kenya comes in a distant second with 3,322 international students and Ghana third with 3,213.
As recently as 2010, the black population of the collective Ivy league was comprised of over 40 percent of students who were foreign born or rooted. African students making up a third of its black students at Ivy league schools like Harvard, with Nigerians in particular comprising 25 percent.
In fact, over the past five years, there have been several instances of second-generation Americans of African parents being accepted into all eight ivy league schools:
In 2014 it was Ghanaian-American Kwasi Enin who ultimately took up Yale’s invitation and majored in Biochemistry. In 2015, Harold Ekeh, Nigerian immigrant and standout New York high school student joined Kwasi at Yale after getting acceptance letters from all eight as well. In 2016, Augusta Uwamanau-Nna, another child of Nigeria, validated her acceptances by becoming valedictorian; she eventually chose Harvard. Ifeoma White-Thorpe of New Jersey joined this elite club in 2017. Ifeoma, whose name means “good thing” in Igbo, is also pursuing a degree at Harvard (double majoring in Chemistry and Government).
This often translates into career and monetary success as well. According to studies, Africans are more than twice as likely to work in healthcare. There are roughly 46,000 RNs, while there approximately 15,700 doctors and surgeons of recent African descent in the U.S.
With those deriving from Ghana, South Africa, Kenya Ethiopia and Nigeria earning an average income of 52,000, slightly higher than the national household average of 50,000.
With African parents usually routing their offspring into lucrative, stable fields of law, medicine or engineering. Although, you have many who have found fruitful careers in areas like communications, the arts and sports.
Some prominent examples of African immigrant success stories are Kwame Anthony Appiah who is a Ghanaian-American Academician currently lecturing at NYU. Dr. Bennet Omalu who is the Nigerian American physician and neuropathologist who is credited for discovering Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), celebrated author Chimamanda Adiche-Ngozi, on the entertainment side, Senegalese-born singer Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam (or Akon), rapper Olubowale Victor Akintimehin (or Wale), Beninese actor Djimon Hounsou, Nigerian born General Manager of the Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri, former Phoenix Suns executive, current ESPN personality Amin El-Hassan representing Sudan and his Nigerian-American colleague Chiney Ogwumike (former Stanford standout) who is also a current power forward for the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. In politics, you have recently elected congresswoman Ihan Omar of Minnesota, a former Somali refugee) and older names like Barack H. Obama Sr, a Kenyan immigrant who received his M.A. in economics at Harvard before returning to Nairobi to work in Kenya’s Administration, is most recognized as the father to the 44th president of the USA, Barack H. Obama Jr.