The Gender Gap in African American Degree Attainment

Census_Bureau_seal.svgThe U.S. Bureau of the Census has just released its annual data on Educational Attainment in the United States. The report shows that in 2014, nearly 6 million living African Americans now hold at least a four-year college degree. Of the 24,864,000 living African Americans 25 years or older, 22.2 percent had obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.

Here is a look at the numbers when the data is broken down by gender. In 2014, 20.4 percent of African American men over the age of 25 had earned at least a bachelor’s degree. For African American women over the age of 25, 23.7 percent had earned at least a bachelor’s degree.

Black women hold a huge lead in master’s degrees. In 2014, there were 964,000 Black women who held a master’s degree but no higher degree. For Black men, the figure was 565,000.

Black women now also hold an advantage in professional degree awards. In 2014, there were 93,000 African American women with a professional degree compared to 85,000 Black men. For those under the age of 40, there were 41,000 Black women with a professional degree compared to 18,000 Black men.

Black men still hold a slight edge in doctoral degrees. In 2014, 109,000 living African American men had a doctoral degree. For Black women the figures was 98,000. However, if we look at doctoral degree holders under the age of 40, Black women hold a 22,000 to 15,000 edge over Black men.


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