In this paper, relative education profiles of recent refugees arriving to Germany from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are described and compared to the profiles of Syrians in Jordan and Lebanon and of internally displaced Iraqis. Relative education describes a migrant’s position in the educational distribution of the origin population. For recent refugees, relative education could be reflected in the decision of where to migrate: those who are relatively better educated may be more able to reach a distant destination. The empirical analyses use data from the project ‘ReGES – Refugees in the German Educational System’, the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees, the Arab Barometer and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). The findings suggest that on average, Syrians and Afghans in Germany and Syrians in Jordan are positively selected on education, while Syrians in Lebanon and internally displaced Iraqis appear slightly negatively selected. The findings for Iraqis in Germany show mixed evidence.

DOI: 10.1111/imig.12853
ISSN: 0020-7985