The Gender Gap in African American Degree Attainments

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2011, 18 percent of Black men over the age of 25 had obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. For Black women over the age of 25, 21.4 percent were college educated.

A generation or two ago, the gender gap in African American degree attainments heavily favored men. This large advantage for older Black men has a residual effect for the overall figures today.  However, the gender gap in degree attainments for younger African Americans is far more pronounced. If we look at degree attainments for African Americans ages 25 to 29, we find that 16.1 percent of Black men hold at least a four-year college degree. For Black women ages 25 to 29, 22.9 percent are college educated.

Some 56,000 young Black women aged 25 to 29 hold master’s degrees compared to only 23,000 young Black men.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. Unfortunately, I am not surprised to see Black women out pacing Black men in attainment of college degrees. As a former Masters candidate at the Uiversity of Massachusetts, I was the only Black male among my colleagues. I just also attended a seminar on a doctoral program and was the only Black male representative.

    What’s happening is that we have many of our young Black males moving in a different direction. They grow up idolizing hip hop stars and sports figures. As a result, the objective is to emulate these entertainers instead of focusing on having a back up plan. I have nothing against Black entertainers, but young Black men need to understand the importance of having savvy options compared to having just one goal of hitting the lottery: A successful entertainer commanding a 7 figure salary.

    I commend our Black women for being driven, motivated, and inspired to elevate themselves academically. However, if the issue of Black men remaining cavalier with achieving a higher education beyond high school is not addressed, more Black women will cross the racial line to find a suitable mate. Do you blame them?

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Recruited for Federal Student Pathway Program for Careers in Public Service

The Pathway Public Service Program was established in 2019 to develop the next generation of diverse, qualified, and motivated public health servants. Over the past five years, the program has hired over 100 student interns.

Five Black Scholars Selected for New Faculty Positions

The five Black scholars who aer taking on new roles are Khadene Harris at Rice University in Houston, Nakia Melecio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bettina Drake at Washington University in St. Louis, Arlette Ngoubene Atioky at Goucher College in Maryland, and Kandi Hill-Clarke at the University of Memphis.

Getty Images to Preserve Digital Photo Archives at Delaware State University

Currently, Delaware State University's photo archives contain thousands of photographs taken over the course of the university's 133 year history. Thanks to a new partnership with Getty Images, those images will be digitized and made available on gettyimages.com.

Porché Spence Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Diversity in Ecology

Dr. Spence currently serves as an assistant professor of environmental studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Throughout her career, she has developed several educational programs geared towards introducing students of color to environmental science fields.

Featured Jobs