More Than 4.5 Million African Americans Alive Today Have a Four-Year College Degree

Today there are more than 4.5 million living African Americans who hold a four-year college degree. The breakdown is as follows: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 3,215,000 blacks in this country who hold a bachelor’s degree but no higher degree. And there are an additional 1,078,000 African Americans who have a four-year college degree and who also hold a master’s degree. An additional 150,000 blacks hold a professional degree in such fields as law, business, and medicine. Another 136,000 African Americans have obtained a doctorate.

In 2008, 19.6 percent of all African Americans over the age of 25 held a college degree. This figure has increased significantly from 13.8 percent in 1996 and 11.3 percent in 1990.

But the percentage of all adult African Americans who are college educated continues to lag far behind that of white adults. In 2008, 32.6 percent of white adults had completed at least four years of college.