New Study on the Marriage Prospects of Educated Black Women

marriage2It is common in the United States for people to marry other people with similar levels of educational attainment. But given the fact that Black women now earn about two thirds of all bachelor’s degree awarded to African Americans and more than 70 percent of all master’s degrees awarded to African Americans, it has become difficult for many educated Black women to find spouses who have similar or higher levels of education.

New research from the Brookings Institution shows that only 8 percent of Black women in 2012 married a man with a higher level of education. Nearly 60 percent of Black women who married in 2012 wed a man with a lower level of education. For White women, a clear majority married a husband with the same or a higher level of education.

Often interracial marriage is not an option. Undoubtedly due to lingering racism among Whites, Black women are the least likely group in American society to marry outside their ethnic group.

The educational gap among young African Americans has produced a situation where many Black women choose not to marry. The Brookings data shows that the proportion of Black women college graduates aged 25 to 35 who have never married is 60 percent, compared to 38 percent for white college-educated women.

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  1. Cheryl Judice says:

    For the past decade I have studied interracial marriages between black women and white men. My book on this topic,
    Interracial Marriages Between Black Women and White Men, was published by Cambria Press in December 2008.

    My current research indicates that educated black women between the ages of 25-40 are far more willing than their older counterparts to date and marry interracially. Of the younger black women married to white men, these marriages were to men who had comparable or higher levels of education.

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