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: Multidisciplinary study reveals big story of cultural migration (w/ Video)

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

Congressional rift over environment influences public

13 hours ago

American citizens are increasingly divided over the issue of environmental protection and seem to be taking their cue primarily from Congress, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Decoding ethnic labels

Jul 30, 2014

If you are of Latin American descent, do you call yourself Chicano? Latino? Hispanic?

Local education politics 'far from dead'

Jul 29, 2014

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren't just pushing ...

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

Jul 29, 2014

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the ...

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.