By Jill Replogle, Fronteras Desk

Mexican immigrants in the United States make less on average than immigrants from any other part of the world, according to new research based on U.S. Census and labor data.

The nearly 7 million Mexican immigrants who work in the U.S. make, on average, 17 percent less than immigrants from Central America. The figure includes all immigrants regardless of their legal status.

They make 40 percent less than African immigrants and more than two and a half times less than Canadian immigrants, according to a new study from the research wing of the international bank, BBVA.

The relatively low education level of many Mexican immigrants largely explains why they’re at the bottom of the salary scale. Four out of every 10 working-age Mexican immigrants have less than 10 years of formal education, according to the study.

But even among immigrants with professional or post graduate degrees, Mexicans make less than all other groups — around $35,000 a year.

In comparison, highly-educated African immigrants make closer to $45,000 a year, and Europeans make more than $60,000 dollars a year, on average.

The study authors speculate the quality of Mexico’s higher education may be lower than that of other regions.

On the other hand, they found Mexican immigrants with less than 10 years of education actually make more, on average, than any other immigrant group with the same level of study, with the exception of Central Americans.

Fronteras Desk is a collaborative of public broadcasting entities in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, including Arizona Public Media.