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College Educated Black Women Are Forced To Marry Down

Are educated and money making Black women forced to marry down? A new study compiling race and education statistics says unfortunately yes…

Via Quartz reports:

There is a growing trend in the United States towards assortative mating—a clunky phrase that refers to people’s tendency to choose spouses with similar educational attainment. Rising numbers of college-educated women play a key role in this change. It is much easier for college graduates to find and marry each other when there are more equal numbers of each gender within an educational bracket.

“Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate.” Writing in The Daily Princetonian, Patton went on: “You will never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who are worthy of you.”

Race is a factor in patterns of assortative mating. Black women face more difficult “marriage markets” than white women, given current rates of intermarriage according to work from University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen. Black women have the lowest rates of “marrying out” across race lines, in part because of racist attitudes to inter-marriage. Just 49% of college-educated black women marry a well-educated man (i.e., with at least some post-secondary education), compared to 84% of college-educated white women, according to an analysis of PSID data by Yale sociologist Vida Maralani.

The study goes onto show that there is a growing “marriage gap” in the United States. Marriage rates among the non-college educated population have fallen sharply in the last few decades, and sharpest of all in the black population.

Black-white gaps in marriage rates reflect different levels of education by race, but there is an important gender gap too. Young white women—aged between 25 and 35—are the most likely to have at least a BA (37%), followed by white men (29%), black women (23%) and black men (16%), according to our analysis of the ACS. We focus on the 25 to 35 year-old age cohort because these are the years during which most women, particularly college graduates, enter into their first marriage.

There is a gender gap here too: Frey reports that three-quarters of black-white marriages involve a black man, rather than a black woman.

Marriage rates are lower among black women compared to white women, even among those with a college education. The proportion of black college graduates aged 25 to 35 who have never married is 60 percent, compared to 38 percent for white college-educated women.

Do you think Black women are forced to “marry down” because Black men aren’t as educated? Discuss…

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