Many Highly Educated Black Women Forgo Marriage

Scholars at Yale University presented a paper at the recent convention of the American Sociological Association that documented the low rate of marriage of highly educated black women.

The data shows that black women born after 1950 who have graduate degrees were twice as likely as similarly aged and similarly educated white women to have never married. Highly educated black women were also twice as likely as their white peers to be divorced, widowed, or separated. The study found that 45 percent of black women with a graduate degree who were born between 1955 and 1960 were childless. This is 10 percentage points higher than for similarly aged and educated white women.

In 1970 there was a nine percentage point gap between black and white women for those currently living with a spouse. By 2007 this racial gap had grown to 21 percentage points.