More than half of the immigrant entrepreneurs who have launched U.S.-based technology and engineering businesses in recent years received their highest degrees from an American university, a new study shows.

According to a report released this week by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a majority of foreign-born entrepreneurs initially came to the United States to pursue an education, while only 1.6 percent entered the country for the purpose of starting a business.

The report, which tracked the educational backgrounds of immigrant entrepreneurs, found that 74 percent of 144 immigrant business owners surveyed held graduate or postgraduate degrees. Immigrant entrepreneurs typically worked or lived in the United States for an average of 13 years before starting a business -- with more than half launching startups in Silicon Valley, followed by New York City, and other cosmopolitan technology centers, the study found.

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