Marriage, family on the decline for highly educated black women

Aug 08, 2009

Fewer black women with postgraduate degrees are getting married and having children, according to research to be presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

"In the past nearly four decades, black women have made great gains in higher education rates, yet these gains appear to have come increasingly at the cost of marriage and ," said Hannah Brueckner, professor of sociology at Yale University; co-director of Yale's Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course; and the study's co-author. "Both white and black highly educated women have increasingly delayed childbirth and remained childless, but the increase is stronger for black women."

The study, which is the first to review longitudinal trends in marriage and family formation among highly educated black women, found that black women born after 1950 were twice as likely as to never have married by age 45 and twice as likely to be divorced, widowed or separated.

The gap in the proportion of black and white highly educated women living with a spouse has grown over the decades, increasing from 9 percent in the 1970s to 21 percent in 2000-2007.

"Highly educated black women have increasingly fewer options when it comes to potential mates," Brueckner said. "They are less likely than black men to marry outside their race, and, compared to whites and black men, they are least likely to marry a college-educated spouse."

Although black women were more likely than white women to have children early in their academic careers, 45 percent of those born between 1955 and 1960 were childless at age 45 compared to 35 percent of white women born in the same time period.

Brueckner and the study's lead author Natalie Nitsche, a graduate student in sociology at Yale University, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey to uncover and family trends among with postgraduate degrees. The Current Population Survey has surveyed approximately 50,000 households monthly for more than 50 years to collect data on the American labor force.

Source: American Sociological Association (news : web)

Explore further: Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Black patients at higher risk for colon polyps

Sep 23, 2008

Compared with white patients, black patients undergoing screening colonoscopy have a higher prevalence of colon polyps, according to a study in the September 24 issue of JAMA.

Black Americans are at higher risk for colon polyps

Sep 24, 2008

Black Americans have a higher occurrence of colon polyps, according to a new study. This is a significant finding considering the incidence of colon cancer among black men has increased and remained unchanged among black ...

Study says death gap increasing in US

May 14, 2008

A new study finds a gap in overall death rates between Americans with less than high school education and college graduates increased rapidly from 1993 to 2001. The study, which appears in the May 14 issue of PLoS ONE, says t ...

Recommended for you

Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

Aug 29, 2014

One wish many workers may have this Labor Day is for more control and predictability of their work schedules. A new report finds that unpredictability is widespread in many workers' schedules—one reason ...

Girls got game

Aug 29, 2014

Debi Taylor has worked in everything from construction development to IT, and is well and truly socialised into male-dominated workplaces. So when she found herself the only female in her game development ...

Computer games give a boost to English

Aug 28, 2014

If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically proven that someone who is good at computer games has a larger ...

Saddam Hussein—a sincere dictator?

Aug 28, 2014

Are political speeches manipulative and strategic? They could be – when politicians say one thing in public, and privately believe something else, political scientists say. Saddam Hussein's legacy of recording private discussions ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

EarthlingX
not rated yet Aug 09, 2009
The best don't procreate. Sad.