The Gender Gap in African American Educational Attainment

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the extent of the gender gap in African American higher educational attainments in the United States. Black women hold a significant edge over Black men in degree attainments at all levels. Here is a summary of the data on degree attainment among African Americans broken down by gender.

In 2018, 23.2 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, 26.9 percent had earned at least a bachelor’s degree. If we look at young Blacks between the ages of 25 and 29, the gender gap is much wider. In 2018, 18.6 percent of Black men between the ages of 25 and 29 held a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 25.7 percent of Black women.

Black women hold a huge lead in master’s degrees. In 2018, there were 1,185,000 Black women who held a master’s degree but no higher degree. For Black men, the figure was 708,000.

Black women now also hold an advantage in professional degree awards. In 2018, there were 115,000 African American women with a professional degree compared to 73,000 Black men.

Less than a decade ago, Black men continued to hold more doctoral degrees than Black women. But now, Black women hold a significant edge in doctoral degrees. In 2018, 139,000 living African American men had a doctoral degree. For Black women the figure was 187,000.

The data tables from Educational Attainment in the United States: 2018, may be downloaded here.

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