The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that universities in the United States conferred 55,693 doctorates in 2019.
Of these, 3,095, or 5.6 percent, were earned by African Americans or Black students from foreign nations. 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. Therefore, African Americans earned about one half the number of doctorates that would be the case if racial parity with the U.S. Black population prevailed.
The good news is that African Americans are making progress in doctoral degree awards. In 2010, 1,939 African Americans earned doctoral degrees at U.S. universities. Thus, the number of African Americans earning doctorates is up nearly 30 percent over the decade.
As stated, in 2019 African Americans made up 7.1 percent of all doctorate earned by U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States. In 2010, the figure was 6.1.
Of the 2,519 African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019, 1,619 identified as women and 893 were men. Thus, women made up 64.3 percent of all African Americans earning doctorates in 2019. This gender gap in African American doctoral degree awards has remained steady over the decade.