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  • Sub-Saharan immigrants to America are significantly better educated than their peers in Europe, a new study has found.
  • They are also more likely than native-born American to have at least some tertiary education, almost as likely to have a job - and those in the US legally tend to be in management.
  • Immigration policies (rapidly changing under US President Donald Trump) seems to strongly influence the type of migrants a country attracts, the Pew Research Center says.

There is a huge gap between the level of education of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa in the United States and in Europe, the Pew Research Center said in a study released on Tuesday.

In Italy only 10% of such immigrants 25 or older have some college education. In France that number is 30%, and in the UK it is a little under half

But in the USA, 69% of those originally from sub-Saharan Africa has at least some college education.

Such immigrants are also more likely to be employed in the US than in Europe - and they are almost as likely to be employed as those born in America.

According to the Pew study, 92.9% of sub-Saharan immigrants in the US who are 15% or older are employed. That is slightly higher than in the UK (91.5%), much higher than Italy (80.3%), and just a hair below the 94% of those born in the US.

Pew says that nearly half the sub-Saharan immigrants to the US in recent years entered that country as family members of either US citizens or permanent residents, in a form of the "chain migration" decried by US President Donald Trump.

There is no data to show how educated that group of family-immigrants are -- but reason to suppose they aren't exactly a drain on the system.

"About half of all immigrants from both North and sub-Saharan Africa who were active in the labour force and had obtained legal permanent residence reported working in a professional or managerial occupation," Pew reported.

"Often such occupations require a relatively high level of education."

Neither the study nor the underlying data provide statistics for specific sub-Saharan countries such as South Africa.

It is possible, Pew says, that migrants to the US obtained their qualifications once they were in that country and did not necessarily arrive educated. Nonetheless, the stark differences between education levels in the US and European countries suggest that policy - the kind of policy Trump wants to change - makes a difference in the kind of immigrants a country attracts.

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