Research & Studies

Census Study Shows a Small Increase in the Racial Gap in Bachelor's Degree Attainments Since 2005

Census Study Shows a Small Increase in the Racial Gap in Bachelor’s Degree Attainments Since 2005

For the years 2015 to 2019, on average 21.6 percent of African Americans over the age of 25 held a bachelor’s degree. For non-Hispanic Whites, the figure was 35.8 percent. This racial gap is slightly large than was the case in the period from 2005 to 2009.

Racial Segregation in Major Cities Is Not Just About Housing

Racial Segregation in Major Cities Is Not Just About Housing

A new study of more than 133 million tweets on Twitter from 2013 to 2015 conducted by researchers at Brown University and Harvard University finds that in most urban areas, people of different races don’t just live in different neighborhoods — they also eat, drink, shop, socialize and travel in different neighborhoods.

Non-Virus Related Deaths During the Pandemic Also More Likely to Impact African Americans

Non-Virus Related Deaths During the Pandemic Also More Likely to Impact African Americans

As with the deaths that were directly caused by the virus, those linked to unemployment have taken a disproportionate toll on Black people, especially those with the least education. Black people make up 12 percent of the working-age population, but they comprised 19 percent of the projected excess deaths due to higher unemployment during the pandemic.

The Racial Gap in College Enrollments of Recent High School Graduates

The Racial Gap in College Enrollments of Recent High School Graduates

For non-Hispanic White high school graduates in 2019, 47.9 percent had enrolled in four-year colleges and universities by October of that year. For 2019 Black high school graduates, less than 32 percent had enrolled in four-year colleges and universities by the ensuing fall.

How Reparations Would Have Affected the Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Transmissions

How Reparations Would Have Affected the Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Transmissions

A new study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School shows that had reparations for slavery been awarded to African Americans prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial disparity in infections, hospitalizations, and death rates due to the virus would have been significantly reduced or eliminated.

Academic Study Examines Reluctance of Older African Americans to Seek Mental Health Care

Academic Study Examines Reluctance of Older African Americans to Seek Mental Health Care

A new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the University of Maryland finds that older African Americans living in U.S. counties with a higher population of Black residents are less likely to pursue mental health treatment than other African American seniors.

In the United States, a Greater Percentage of Blacks Are Enrolled in School Than Whites

In the United States, a Greater Percentage of Blacks Are Enrolled in School Than Whites

For African Americans over the age of 3, there were 11,551,000 students enrolled in school in October 2019. They made up 28.0 percent of the total Black population age 3 or over. For Whites only 20.5 percent of the population 3 and over were enrolled in school.

COVID-19's Disparate Impact on the Education of Young Black Students

COVID-19’s Disparate Impact on the Education of Young Black Students

In examining the results of third grade students on standardized tests, the authors found that between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2020 the proportion of students reaching the previous promotion minimum score declined by 13.8 percentage points for Black students and 5.8 percentage points for White students.

Arizona State University Study Shows NFL's Rooney Rule Has Been Ineffective

Arizona State University Study Shows NFL’s Rooney Rule Has Been Ineffective

There are currently three Black head coaches in the National Football League. That’s the same number of Black head coaches as when the NFL adopted the Rooney Rule in 2003. Of the 115 head coaching hires in that time period since the Rooney Rule was enacted, 92 were White men.

A Checkup of Black Students at Medical Schools in the United States

A Checkup of Black Students at Medical Schools in the United States

In 2020, 22,239 students enrolled in medical school for the first time. Of these, 2,117, or 9.5 percent, were Black. The number of Black matriculants was up 10.5 percent from 2019 and by 51.6 percent from 2013.

Scientists Call for an End to Racial Funding Disparities in Biomedical Engineering

Scientists Call for an End to Racial Funding Disparities in Biomedical Engineering

Representatives from a network of women deans, chairs, and distinguished faculty in biomedical engineering are calling upon the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies to address disparities in allocating support to Black researchers.

Racial Differences in Well-Being for College Graduates Ten Years After Earning Their Degrees

Racial Differences in Well-Being for College Graduates Ten Years After Earning Their Degrees

Thirty percent of Blacks who earned a bachelor’s degree in the 2007-08 academic year had earned a master’s degree 10 years later. Only 26.6 percent of Whites had earned a master’s degree. Whites were significantly more likely than Blacks to earn a professional degree within 10 years of graduating from college.

How Hate Crimes in a State Impact Enrollments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

How Hate Crimes in a State Impact Enrollments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The authors of the study, published by the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, found that an increase in reports of state-level hate crimes predicted a 20 percent increase in Black first-time student enrollment at HBCUs.

Racial Differences in Union Membership and Wages

Racial Differences in Union Membership and Wages

In 2020, there were 2,055,000 African Americans who were union members. Some 12.3 percent of African American workers were members of labor unions compared to 10.7 percent of White workers. African Americans made up 14.4 percent of all union members.

HBCUs Do More With Less: Despite Financial Handicaps, HBCUs Are Highly Successful

HBCUs Do More With Less: Despite Financial Handicaps, HBCUs Are Highly Successful

Despite operating with lower revenues and smaller endowments, HBCUs produce about one out of eight bachelor’s degrees earned by Black students in the United States. In short, HBCUs, do more with less.

The Racial Diversity Problem in Music Schools at Universities in the United States

The Racial Diversity Problem in Music Schools at Universities in the United States

Nationwide, about 6 percent of all students who earn bachelor’s degrees in music are Black. A concentration on the classical music of Europe at many schools of music is one reason for a low level of participation by Black students. Music education, with its high cost for purchasing instruments, training, traveling, is also a challenge.

Study Finds That Having a Black Doctor Reduces the Infant Mortality Rate of Black Newborns

Study Finds That Having a Black Doctor Reduces the Infant Mortality Rate of Black Newborns

In the United States, Black newborns die at three times the rate of White newborns. But a new study finds that “clinical penalties for Black newborns treated by Black physicians are halved compared with the penalties Black newborns experience when cared for by White physicians.”

The Huge Racial Gap in Graduate School Student Debt

The Huge Racial Gap in Graduate School Student Debt

African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019 had an average graduate student debt of $84,050. Nearly 21 percent of African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019, had graduate student debt of more than $160,000.

University of Minnesota Project Looks at How Interstate Highway Construction Affected Blacks

University of Minnesota Project Looks at How Interstate Highway Construction Affected Blacks

When constructing the system through urban areas, planners often chose routes that went through the poorest and predominantly Black neighborhoods. It was cheaper to obtain property in these neighborhoods and planners believed they would meet minimal resistance from residents and political leaders in these areas.

Study Says Empathy Scores Should Be a Part of Holistic Admissions Process for Medical Schools

Study Says Empathy Scores Should Be a Part of Holistic Admissions Process for Medical Schools

In a study sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, researchers surveyed 3,616 first‐year, 2,764 second‐year, 2,413 third‐year, and 1,958 fourth‐year medical students to determine their levels of empathy. African American students scored the highest on the empathy index, while Asian Americans scored the lowest.

Racial Differences in the Age of Doctoral Degree Recipients in the United States

Racial Differences in the Age of Doctoral Degree Recipients in the United States

On average, Whites who earned doctorates were 31.6 years old when they received their doctoral degrees. For African Americans, the average age was 36.1. But when we break the figures down by age group, we see more pronounced differences.

College Athletic Powerhouses Making Progress in Racial Equity in Leadership Posts

College Athletic Powerhouses Making Progress in Racial Equity in Leadership Posts

Of the 130 colleges and universities that make up the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, nine have a Black or African American president or chancellor. This is up from five a year ago.

Fatalities From Work-Related Injuries Increasing for Black Americans

Fatalities From Work-Related Injuries Increasing for Black Americans

In 2019, 634 African Americans died as a result of work-related injuries. The number of African American fatalities has increased by 28 percent since 2015. This is more than double the increase for the population as a whole.

The Year in Review: Notable Research on African Americans in Higher Education in 2020

The Year in Review: Notable Research on African Americans in Higher Education in 2020

Over the course of 2020, JBHE has published a large number of posts highlighting research on African Americans in higher education. In case readers missed some of these posts, here are links to some of the items published over the past year.

Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Received Few or No Doctorates in 2019

Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Received Few or No Doctorates in 2019

In 2019 there were 2,512 African Americans who earned doctorates. They made up 7.1 percent of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the U.S. But there are many fields where Blacks earned only a tiny percentage of all doctorates. For example, African Americans earned only one percent of physics doctorates.

The Racial Gap in Attendance and Absenteeism in Public Schools

The Racial Gap in Attendance and Absenteeism in Public Schools

New data from the California Department of Education shows that prior to the pandemic Black students missed an average of 13.2 days of school each year. White students were absent, on average for 9.1 school days. For Black students, 52.7 percent of all absences were unexcused compared to 29.4 percent for White students.

The 21 Historically Black Universities That Awarded Doctoral Degrees in 2019

The 21 Historically Black Universities That Awarded Doctoral Degrees in 2019

All told, 21 HBCUs awarded doctoral degrees in 2019. This is the same number of doctoral degree-granting institutions as five years ago in 2014. That year HBCUs awarded 448 doctoral degrees. In 2019, HBCUs gave out 437 doctorates.

Positive Identity Reinforcement at School Improves Black Students Academic Performance

Positive Identity Reinforcement at School Improves Black Students Academic Performance

A new longitudinal study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh shows that African American youth who receive positive messages about their racial group in school achieved better school grades one to two years later.

UCLA Study Finds Stimulus Package Widened Racial Economic Inequality

UCLA Study Finds Stimulus Package Widened Racial Economic Inequality

The UCLA analysis of disparities in the distribution of Paycheck Protection Program Funds, when standardized on a per-resident basis, found that the federal loans supported 5.8 jobs per 100 residents in Black neighborhoods, compared with 8.1 per 100 residents in White communities.

African Americans Making Slow but Steady Progress in Doctoral Degree Awards

African Americans Making Slow but Steady Progress in Doctoral Degree Awards

There were 2,512 African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019. They made up 7.1 percent of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States. Women made up 64.3 percent of all African Americans earning doctorates in 2019.

Graduation Rates of Students at State-Operated Historically Black Universities

Graduation Rates of Students at State-Operated Historically Black Universities

A few of the nation’s private historically Black colleges and universities have achieved progress in graduating their Black students. But at most of the nation’s state-operated historically Black colleges and universities, the graduation rates remain very low.

UCLA Study Finds Persisting Racism Among the Millennial Generation

UCLA Study Finds Persisting Racism Among the Millennial Generation

The researchers sent 4,000 responses to real “roommate wanted” ads posted by millennials. They used names that signaled the race of the room seekers. The results showed that White-sounding names received the most responses, while those that signaled Black roommates got fewer responses.

The Persisting Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates at Flagship State Universities

The Persisting Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates at Flagship State Universities

At 21 flagship state universities in states with large Black populations, 15 have a racial graduation rate gap of 10 or more percentage points. The widest gap is at the University of Mississippi. There the Black graduation rate of 42 percent is 23 percentage points below the rate for White students.

Racial Microaggressions May Be Pushing Black Students Out of STEM Disciplines

Racial Microaggressions May Be Pushing Black Students Out of STEM Disciplines

The study by researchers at the University of Illinois found when students of color in STEM majors felt excluded, invisible, or isolated on their college campus because of their race, sometimes combined with discouraging experiences in academic settings, they were less likely to continue in STEM.

The Impact of Education and Race on Tobacco Use by American Adults

The Impact of Education and Race on Tobacco Use by American Adults

In 2019, 20.7 percent of African American adults used tobacco products compared to 23.3 percent of non-Hispanic White adults. White adults were nearly seven times as likely as Black adults to use smokeless tobacco products.

Grading the Nation Top-Ranked Universities on Graduating Their Black Students

Grading the Nation Top-Ranked Universities on Graduating Their Black Students

All of the 20 highest-ranked universities in the United States according to ratings by U.S. News & World Report have Black student graduation rates far higher than the national average of 48 percent. Harvard has the highest rate at 98 percent, followed by Yale and Princeton.