Good News! More Than 5 Million African Americans Now Hold College Degrees

media-3A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2012, there were more than 5.3 million African Americans who held a higher education degree. They made up 18.6 percent of all African American adults over the age of 18. In contrast, about 32 percent of White Americans over the age of 18 were college educated.

For Blacks over the age of 25 in 2012, 21.2 percent held a college degree. This is an increase from 19.9 percent in 2011. For Whites over the age of 25 in 2012, 34.5 percent held a college degree, up from 34.0 percent in 2011.

In 2012, there were 3.5 million Black Americans with a bachelor’s degree but who held no graduate degree. There were 1,364,000 African Americans with a master’s degree. Another 217,000 Black Americans held a professional degree and 224,000 African Americans had earned doctorates.

If we break down the data by gender, we find that Black women made up 58.8 percent of all African Americans with a bachelor’s degree in 2012 but who held no higher education credential. Black women make up a whopping 66.8 percent of all African Americans whose highest degree earned was a master’s degree. In 2012, Black women were a majority of the African Americans holding a professional degree. But Black men still held more doctorates than Black women.


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