How the African-American Higher Education Gender Gap Affects Black Marriage Rates

The gender gap in African-American higher education has created a situation where it is extremely difficult for educated black women to find a spouse of the same race and educational background. As a result, marriage rates for educated black women are very low.

A new report from the Pew Research Center examines the relationship between marriage, education, race, and income for women between the ages of 30 and 44.

The data shows that in 2007, only 33 percent of black women ages 30 to 44 were married at the time of the study. For whites, 67 percent were married, more than double the rate for black women. In 2007, 44 percent of black men ages 30 to 44 were married compared to 63 percent of white men in this age group.

Marriage rates have declined considerably over the past 40 years as more and more women of all races have pursued higher education. In 1970, 86 percent of white women ages 30 to 44 were married compared to 67 percent of black women. So over the past 40 years the marriage rate for black women has declined by more than half while the rate for white women is down about 28 percent. For black men ages 30 to 44, the marriage rate has declined from 74 percent in 1970 to 44 percent today. This decline is considerably higher than the decline for white men.