Examining the Gender Gap in African American Degree Attainments

Last week, JBHE featured a post on a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau that offers a detailed look at educational attainment in the United States. The report shows that in 2013, of the 24,371,000 living African Americans 25 years or older, 5.3 million had at least a four-year college degree.

gradcap-diploma-thumbNow we report on the gender gap among African Americans in degree attainments. There are 2,248,000 African American men over the age of 18 who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. There are 3,283,000 African American women with at least a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, men make up 41 percent of all African Americans who hold at least a four-year college degree.

There are 946,000 African American women who hold a master’s degree but no higher degree. Among African American men, 560,000 hold a master’s degree but no higher degree. Thus, women make up 62.8 percent of this group of African Americans who hold a master’s degree but no higher degree.

The data shows that 174,000 African Americans in 2013 held a professional degree and 195,000 had obtained a doctorate. Women have taken a sizeable lead in professional degree holders among African Americans. In 2013, 102,000 Black women held professional degrees compared to 72,000 Black men.

In doctoral degrees, African American men and African American women hold roughly the same number of degrees. But, the trend is for greater number of Black women than Black men achieving doctorates. If we look at only those African Americans under the age of 40, 18,000 Black men hold doctorates compared to 25,000 Black women.

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