New Study on the Marriage Prospects of Educated Black Women

marriageIt is common in the United States for people to marry other people with similar levels of educational attainment. But given the fact that Black women now earn about two thirds of all bachelor’s degree awarded to African Americans and more than 70 percent of all master’s degrees awarded to African Americans, it has become difficult for many educated Black women to find spouses who have similar or higher levels of education.

New research from the Brookings Institution shows that only 8 percent of Black women in 2012 married a man with a higher level of education. Nearly 60 percent of Black women who married in 2012 wed a man with a lower level of education. For White women, a clear majority married a husband with the same or a higher level of education.

Often interracial marriage is not an option. Undoubtedly due to lingering racism among Whites, Black women are the least likely group in American society to marry outside their ethnic group.

The educational gap among young African Americans has produced a situation where many Black women choose not to marry. The Brookings data shows that the proportion of Black women college graduates aged 25 to 35 who have never married is 60 percent, compared to 38 percent for white college-educated women.

Related Articles


  1. Those Black women choosing not to marry because they cannot find a husband with whom they are “equally yoked” as the bible phrases it are smart. In a book titled “Is Marriage For White People” unequally marriages are researched and shown to fall apart because of incompatible values. I’m quite tired of people suggesting black women change their standards as it relates to what they want in a man. I’m a college educated black man and I know that for the sake of my future children alone, I would prefer my future wife to be college educated. I also would prefer that she wear her hair in it’s natural state as an example for my future daughter.

  2. it has much less to do with education than it does the prison industrial complex. i’m getting tired of these recycled studies. what’s next — reviving the hideous term describing black men as an “endangered species”??

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Higher Education Gifts or Grants of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Three African Americans Appointed to Leadership Positions in Diversity

The three African Americans appointed to diversity positions are Melanie Duckworth at the University of Nevada Reno, Doug Thompson at the University of Notre Dame, and Anthony Jones at Centre College in Kentucky.

Tuajuanda Jordan to Retire From the Presidency of St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Dr. Jordan has led St. Mary's College of Maryland for the past 10 years. She has previously held faculty and leadership positions with Xavier University of Louisiana, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Lewis & Clark College.

The White House Releases Report on “The Economics of HBCUs”

The report found that although HBCUs account for less than 3 percent of all higher education institutions in the United States, they have 8 percent of all Black undergraduate student enrollments and produce 13 percent of all bachelor's degrees earned by Black students.

Featured Jobs