Number of African Americans Earning Doctorates Drops for the Second Year in a Row

In 2004, 1,869 African Americans were awarded doctoral degrees at U.S. universities. This was the highest number ever recorded.

But in 2005 there was a 10 percent decline in black doctoral awards. This was only the third annual decline in the past 20 years.

Now new data released by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago shows that in 2006 the number of black doctorates has declined once again. This year the decline was slight, from 1,688 in 2005 to 1,659 in 2006. This is a drop of 1.7 percent.

In 2004 blacks earned 7.1 percent of all doctorates awarded in the United States. In 2006 the percentage of all doctorates awarded to blacks has declined to 6.3 percent.