May 22, 2008

Nigerians are the most educated nationality in America -- If you don't believe me, just ask them!

Somebody sent me this via email, so it has to be true:

In America, Nigerians' education pursuit is above rest
Whether driven by immigration or family, data show more earn degrees

By LESLIE CASIMIR
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in this city and the nation, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data bolstered by an analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University.

Although they make up a tiny portion of the U.S. population, a whopping 17 percent of all Nigerians in this country held master's degrees while 4 percent had a doctorate, according to the 2006 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, 37 percent had bachelor's degrees.

To put those numbers in perspective, 8 percent of the white population in the U.S. had master's degrees, according to the Census survey. And 1 percent held doctorates. About 19 percent of white residents had bachelor's degrees. Asians come closer to the Nigerians with 12 percent holding master's degrees and 3 percent having doctorates.

Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist at Rice University who conducts the annual Houston Area Survey, suspects the percentage of Nigerian immigrants with post-graduate degrees is higher than Census data shows.

Of all the Nigerian immigrants he reached in his random phone surveys 1994 through 2007 — 45 households total — Klineberg said 40 percent of the Nigerians said they had post-graduate degrees.

"These are higher levels of educational attainment than were found in any other ... community," Klineberg said.

There are more than 12,000 Nigerians in Houston, according to the latest Census data, a figure sociologists and Nigerian community leaders say is a gross undercount. They believe the number to be closer to 100,000.

There are plenty of worthy Nigerian-Americans, but when your countrymen have blanketed the world with faxes and emails for 15 years with accounts of embezzled funds just waiting to be smuggled out of Lagos, well, you do pay a price in credibility.

Consider that the Swiss made money off their reputation for honesty (if you put your money in a Swiss bank, they'll let you have it back), while Nigerians have tried to make money off promoting the stereotype of Nigeria as so corrupt that there are piles of stolen money lying around ripe for the taking.

Skepticism aside, African immigrants to the U.S. are the cream of the crop, a big crop of 770 million people, much like Indian immigrants. A friend of mine from Cameroon came from a family in which eight of the nine children had earned advanced degrees from European or American universities. So, many of them are solid performers.

Also, as Lani Guinier and Henry Louis Gates have frequently complained, there's a big demand from American universities for blacks for quota purposes, and so long as you look at least part African, the admissions committees don't care whether your ancestors were slaves in America or whether your ancestors got rich selling slaves to the Europeans. Moreover, Africans tend to have less attitude than African Americans, so it's all good from the point of view of colleges desperate for "diversity" but who don't actually want to put up with African-Americans from the 'hood.

That said, I don't see much evidence that African immigrants are making the same kind of mark in the upper reaches of American academia and business that Indians are, or even that South Koreans, with only 40 million people, are.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

46 comments:

Titus Pullo said...

Of all the Nigerian immigrants he reached in his random phone surveys 1994 through 2007 — 45 households total — Klineberg said 40 percent of the Nigerians said they had post-graduate degrees.

When questioned further, it was discovered that 93% of those who answered "yes" said they thought "post-graduate" meant anything beyond 5th grade.

There are more than 12,000 Nigerians in Houston, according to the latest Census data, a figure sociologists and Nigerian community leaders say is a gross undercount. They believe the number to be closer to 100,000.

The City of Houston should sue its Nigerian community for slander.

Anonymous said...

Journalists are not that smart, realy.

Martin said...

"Of all the Nigerian immigrants he reached in his random phone surveys 1994 through 2007 — 45 households total"

He conducted a survey lasting thirteen or fourteen years, and only had 45 responndents who were nigerian - less than four a year. How many calls was he making? Given the number of nigerians in this country, one would think he'd reach more than that.

MensaRefugee said...

You dont believe them. How racist.

Anonymous said...

Using the best estimate Houston population of 12,000 vs Nigerians' own inflated figure of 100,000 gives an self-reported figure inflated 833%.

Use this 833% as a starting figure to correct self-reported population figures. Since there is a much greater incentive to lie about one's education for personal gain rather than about general attributes like community population, multiple 833% by a factor of 4 to get a correction factor of 3,332% for these self-reported .

That means for those surveyed in Houston's 12,000 Nigerian pop:

Reported% Est% USWhites%
-----------------------------
BS 37% 1.1%
MS 17% 0.51% 8%
PhD 4% 0.1% 1%

These numbers are probably not too far from the truth.

Anonymous said...

perhaps he called the same house 45 times over 14 years.

Anonymous said...

Where did they get their degrees? There are a lot of people in Hong Kong (and presumably mainland China) who have five or six masters degrees, all earned within a relatively short time span with nowhere near the level of work or intelligence required at 1st world universities. There are tons of university mills in the 2nd/3rd world that specialize in this kind of degree: if graduates ever get to the states they can say they have a masters from the University of Hellhole, Nigeria and nobody will question what they had to do to get it, just assume it was the same as the US.

ReticentMan said...

Well of course if this is true what it means is that the absolute best of the best human capital is universally fleeing Nigeria, assuring that that country will remain a pesthole forever.

simon said...

As an academic teaching internationally-recruited postgrad law students, I find that the degrees from sub-Saharan Africa hold up well. The students are mostly smart and well educated. We have most problems with middle-eastern (eg Saudi) and Pakistan awarded degrees, and occasionally with Indian. Some of our students recruited from mainland China are poor too, especially the policemen. Generally speaking I find a black female student from southern Africa is more likely to be an excellent student than is a male student from mainland China.

Anonymous said...

I'm an attorney and every time I meet a new client they invariably tell me something about themselves to let me know they're a good guy.

One Nigerian client announced to me that all three of his children are college graduates.

headache said...

simon sed:
" Generally speaking I find a black female student from southern Africa is more likely to be an excellent student than is a male student from mainland China."

Yea, that's the white colonial and Apartheid legacy there. Black nationalists and liberals like to go on about how poor black education in these colonies was, but your statement just refutes that.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it terrible that Nigeria is being deprived of these highly skilled Nigerians.

Is this suppose to be an argument for importing thousands of high skilled immigrants?

Some people just have an intense dislike of Euro-Americans. For these folks much better to import skilled workers than to develop Euro-American talent for careers in medicine and engineering.

Steve

Which policy do you support:1)import doctors from Nigeria and other nations or 2)develope Euro-American youth for careers in medicine and engineering.

If option two had been policy for the past 43 years, The US would still be 90 percent White.

Argent Paladin said...

Also, a bit apples and oranges, comparing a nation with races. What if they looked just at Korean-Americans? Or just Israeli-Americans. I'd be willing to bet that both groups legitimately have far higher percentages with masters and doctorates. You have to compare countries to countries and continents to continents.

Ali said...

Yeah, apart from a few institutions (LUMS for managament, GIK for engineering and Aga Khan for medicine) higher education in Pakistan is pretty bad.

simon said...

headache:
"Yea, that's the white colonial and Apartheid legacy there. Black nationalists and liberals like to go on about how poor black education in these colonies was, but your statement just refutes that."

That's my impression - the black students from South Africa & Lesotho I've taught have been excellent. Mind you the white South Africans are very good, too - they demand a lot of me, and of themselves, and make me raise my game.

ONI of IFE said...

Nigeria's population is some 140 million and it is strongly pro-education, especially in the South where the Yorubas and Ibos are the majority.

And when they travel out of Nigeria they are even more motivated to acquire degrees--in areas such as engineering, computer science,pharmacy, etc.

There are many Nigerian universities that offer post-graduate courses and a number offer doctorates in engineering, chemistry, mathematics, etc. And large numbers stay on in Nigeria.

Now there are skeptics who doubt the Nigerian expatriate level of education but it's for real. Just research the Nigerian graduates of the Ivy Leagues plus MIT and Caltech to get an idea.

Also names like Kunle Olukotun, Abiola Lapite, Philip Emeagwali can easily be googled.

But perhaps the best index of their educational level can be had from googling "mathematicians of the African diaspora" to get some idea of how Nigerians proliferate and on a per capita basis easily outdo local blacks.

Anonymous said...

Simon sez, in relation to law students:


Generally speaking I find a black female student from southern Africa is more likely to be an excellent student than is a male student from mainland China.


Yeah, like the world needs more lawyers.

My experience, FWIW, is in high tech.

I do not recall ever seeing a black female in this field. I have seen some black males, mostly always from overseas. The area is dominated by white males, Chinese/East Asian males and Indian males, and a smattering of females from China/Taiwan/Hong Kong, as well as India.

The best females have been good but not better than the best males, though.

TGGP said...

How many Nigerians are there in the country? I bet a lot fewer than Indians and South Koreans.

Anonymous said...

For lawyer haters: in societies where the Anglo-Saxon Common Law prevails, lawyers are people who settle disputes on behalf of private parties who in another society might resort to violence. Lawyers must present the cases of each side before a wise person trusted by the community (judge) or representatives of the community itself (jury). So the law in the end represents the standards of the community, and enforces them in a peaceful and equitable way.

Why do some Republicans hate lawyers? Maybe because they are sympathetic to people who act at great odds with the community. In which case, they should be lucky that lawyers prevent such people from being lynched instead of jailed.

Mark said...

If you believe Nigerians are the most educated nationality in America, there is a Nigerian bank account of 25 million dollars with your name on it.

Skallagrimson said...

That's funny, during the last year, I met Klineberg at an event in Houston, and my taxi driver was a Nigerian chemical engineer. This demonstrates 2 things:

1. The Nigerians in United States are among the resourceful ones.
2. Not only China and India gives engineering degrees to people that end up taking menial jobs.

Anonymous said...

if graduates ever get to the states they can say they have a masters from the University of Hellhole, Nigeria and nobody will question what they had to do to get it, just assume it was the same as the US.

Shows both intelligence, and a firm grasp for the reason it exists in the first place.

Taking advantage of Americans' politically-correct taboos is the smart thing to do. Hopefully this sort of thing will expand to monstrous proportions.

Well of course if this is true what it means is that the absolute best of the best human capital is universally fleeing Nigeria, assuring that that country will remain a pesthole forever.

Yes this is the best-case scenario.

Mind you the white South Africans are very good, too

I've heard they're (whites from southern Africa) are the cream of the crop.

Why do some Republicans hate lawyers?

Republicans seem to have pretty low opinions of used car salesmen, too. Go figure.

Svigor (the Name/URL sign-in fields not popping up for others, or just me?)

Anonymous said...

Well, there's that Nigerian who claimed to have invented the internet by recalling how honey bees work. I wonder why the worker bee system didn't strike order into Nigeria long ago with that sort of aptitude quivering for release. I actually swallowed that for a while and thought, well, maybe they can produce a genius now and again. Nah. Total fraud, even to other Nigerians.
The only thing in which Nigerians dominate right now, as far as smarts, is the internet scam business, and those letters are pretty stupid. As someone said, the smartest element of a not very smart group scamming the dumbe elements of a generally smarter group.

Anonymous said...

Emeagawali is a fraud. Don't know about the others.
Once on a list of IQ of famous people, this Emeagawli's was the very highest--by his own reporting. Something like 198. I smelled something rotten in Nigeria but didn't question it. Then I started googling. He has his supporters but his claims are absurd. I thought this was pretty much accepted, but I guess those invention stories die hard.

travis said...

For lawyer haters: in societies where the Anglo-Saxon Common Law prevails, lawyers are people who settle disputes on behalf of private parties who in another society might resort to violence. Lawyers must present the cases of each side before a wise person trusted by the community (judge) or representatives of the community itself (jury). So the law in the end represents the standards of the community, and enforces them in a peaceful and equitable way.

Yes, but what happens to the law when Anglo-Saxons are no longer common?

ogunsiron said...

Oni of Ife ,
You're not helping hailing Emegawali as some kind of great scientist or genius.
He doesn't even have a PhD .He's a fraud, a liar and even many nigerians see through him :

http://chxta.blogspot.com/2006/04/is-philip-emeagwali-fake.html

I'm not saying that the guy isn't intelligent. It's just that he's probably as intelligent as a smart doctor or an average hard science grad student at a 2nd tier university and nothing more than that .
Hardly the "world's biggest scientist" as ridiculously calls himself. I remember being quite interested in this guy a few years ago. I quickly realized something was fishy about emeagwali, just from reading his unsufferably self laudatory website (the guy's level of auto adoration is unbelievable).

KlaosOldanburg said...

from wikipedia:

"Emeagwali studied for a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan from 1987 through 1991. His thesis was not accepted by a committee of internal and external examiners and thus he was not awarded the degree. Emeagwali filed a court challenge, claiming that the decision was a violation of his civil rights and that the university had discriminated against him in several ways because of his race. The court challenge was dismissed, as was an appeal to the Michigan state Court of Appeals."

so, i guess by his calculations, a phd is a civil right.

interesting.

Indra Maghavan said...

Nigeria is no better, and in most respects, worse than the other black hellholes in Africa. I invite all to see my own analysis (in my blog) of the country.

Sam said...

The educational achievements of Black Africans are quite high in the UK too. The black population is split between the more educationally inclined Africans and the more welfare dependent West Indians. (The same is true for South Asians - with a split between poor muslim pakistanis, with wives who hardly ever work, and upwardly mobile indian hindus).

While Nigerians educational achievements are high, they are well known for their legendary pomposity, which makes their educational claims not always reliable.

headache said...

simon,
Thanks for being honest about it. There was a time when WITS University in Johannesburg was considered at place 14 in the western world. But that's long gone. I'm currently doing a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden, Germany, which was a cradle of mechanization (diesel engine, thermodynamic fundamentals, aeronautics), and is intentionally seeking to be top worldwide again by simply jacking up its standards every year, regardless of the students. I don't have a problem following and my basic education was in South Africa. That's the British colonial legacy which was later further developed during Apartheid. And blacks also benefited from it, simply because as they raised the white standards, they also raised the black standards. But that’s lost on black nationalists and liberals.

Truth said...

"I invite all to see my own analysis (in my blog) of the country."

I tried reading your blog but I'm afraid I don't meet your IQ requirements; mine isn't low enough.

You must be writing for Africans themselves.

SFG said...

Steve,

I CAN GET YOU A HARVARD MBA, JUST SEND ME $20,000...oh, you beat me to it.

Seriously, I've known quite a few educated Nigerians and they were pretty good at what they did, if arrogant. Most of them were from the Igbo tribe, which is apparently the one the British ruled through. Other tribes like the Yoruba, Hausa, and Fulani, not so much.

Josh said...

I just saw an article about a Kenyan woman who has graduated from Chicago State university,she plans on going to Rush Medical school(and BTW she had that "operation" that many African girls get). Rush is a top flight medical school,but Chicago State is an absolutely worthless college. The head of the English dept btw(before her untimely demise)was one Donda West,mother of Kanye.(Ironic that she met her fate at the hands of anon-board certified black doctor) Its very obvious that some affirmative action is going on,but if this lady---who did overcome a hell of a lot,and must be of high character,you have to respect her!!!--does become an MD and go back to help her countrymen,then that is a win for everyone. I do not see her flourishing on the North Shore!! (PS:Its sometimes not very safe for the African students,as one was robbed near the campus of the U of C and murdered. The fact that he was an African might,it seems,been a factor as the same "yoots" who shot him robbed 2 other white people w/o violence.

Anonymous said...

Must be nice surrounded by white guys who will agree with you on all your racist points.

anti_stupid said...

I only read a few of the comments and these are people trying hard to believe that this is not true. As a Nigerian-American, graduate and married to a doctorate I think the percentage of graduates in our community is even higher than what is reported. Nearly every Nigerian-American over 23 within my circle has at least one college degree that was obtained in an American university. These are very verifiable credentials.

When you ask a racist why he hates black people he'd probably say it's because they won't go to school and are unambitious. Then he wakes up one day and finds out that the most educated community in America is black and African. These negative comments are typical reaction when people's lies blow up in their faces. The real problem here is racism, hate and inferiority complex.

Anonymous said...

Jim Rogers wrote that when he was traveling through Africa on part of his three year journey around the world to look for investment opportunities, Africans tried to talk him out of going to Nigeria. "Don't go to Nigeria," they told him, "it will ruin your idea of Africa".

- Fred

Truth said...

""Don't go to Nigeria," they told him, "it will ruin your idea of Africa"."

That's funny, I've literally heard some of the same things about Portugal (lol).

Anonymous said...

When you ask a racist why he hates black people he'd probably say it's because they won't go to school and are unambitious."


You sound like you're in the sixth grade.
Actually more blacks "hate" whites. It's because blacks think whites like school and are ambitious.

Truth said...

"
You sound like you're in the sixth grade.
Actually more blacks "hate" whites. It's because blacks think whites like school and are ambitious"

WHO sounds like he's in 6th grade here?

Anonymous said...

A commenter maintained that whites "hate" blacks because they don't get educated and have no ambition. Yeah, right, that could be the only reason. Sounds like a sixth grade composition.

Truth, thick as always, opines:
"WHO sounds like he's in 6th grade here?"

Comme d'habitude, irony really flies over "Truth's" head.
Yes, the sixth grade. Or maybe the fourth.

Truth said...

"Comme d'habitude, irony really flies over "Truth's" head."

C'est domage!

Je pense que il'a tres gauche pour utiliser l'adage frances dans votre r├ęponse n'est ce-pas?

Realmente, comme dit votre Amreicans, il'a come la ongle sur le tableau, proverbial monsieur!

Anonymous said...

gauche is as gauche does.
I'll spare the non-francophones further pain, but even Jack Nicholson Batman could say "n'est-ce pas?."

a silly conclusion to this thread must be anticipated for such a silly opening statement.

Anonymous said...

I think this ana1ysis is extreme1y mis1eading.

1. b1ack african immigrants benefit from affirmative action. I'm pretty sure I'm against affirmative action, though sometimes I think its needed socia1 po1icy -

I'm indian american and affirmative action (as other asian americans) and works against in co11ege and graduate schoo1 admissions process - we are overrepresented in good schoo1s and competitive professions.

For a nigerian immigrant and a11 b1ack immigrants this isn't the case - affirmative action readi1y he1ps them and 1owers the standard for who can be admitted.

Second - has no one rea1ized what the compartison is: between nigerian americans and a11 asians or a11 whites.

1ast I check the stats Indian americans, phi1ipinos, japanese a1ternate1y are the highest educated nationa1 origin group in this country. compare the bache1or's degree stats to an indian americans stats than we have a much higher percentage of co11ege educated peop1e.

The tit1e of the artic1e is so mis1eading - and its great that different immigrants are doing we11, but it'd be nice if credit is given to the actua1 "most educated" group, and not trick the stats in this way.

when affirmative action stops being app1ied to b1ack immigrants and they don't skew the comparisons of one nationa1ity to every nationa1ity from a 1arge continent - then I'11 be more convinced of their apparent great work and studious characteristics.

Lyla said...

"when affirmative action stops being app1ied to b1ack immigrants and they don't skew the..."
You obviously know nothing about being an international student! Do you know what an F-1 visa is and the restrictions applied?

The Round Peg said...

That's because Nigerians LIE about their levels of education.

The Census data was based on random phone surveys. In case you've been living under a rock, Nigerians are notoriously dishonest. I have encountered a number of Nigerians, and my experience is that Nigerians certainly deserve that notoriety. Nigerians get their "411" reputation for a good reason.

(Other than education, the other thing that Nigerians most often lie about is their income level. They like to exaggerate their education levels and incomes.)

(Oh, and in addition to being dishonest, Nigerians are also VERY VERY rude.)

The Round Peg said...

Before people start crying racist after reading my last comment:

I generally have a neutral or even positive experience with Blacks. Nigerians are really the only exception that stands out. I don't know why, but my impression is that they are just very dishonest and rude people.

And they just lie and lie, even when there is no reason for them to lie. It must be cultural or something. And it's uniquely Nigerian. Other Blacks I've dealt with doesn't have the same problems.

So, "Nigerians are the most educated nationality in America" only because the Nigerians in the phone surveys lied about their levels of education.