Marriage, Family on the Decline for Highly Educated Black Women





New Haven, Conn. — Fewer black women with postgraduate degrees are getting married and having children, according to a study by the Yale Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course, which was presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco on August 8.

“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 family,” said Hannah Brueckner, professor of sociology at Yale University; co-director of the research center; 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 white women never to 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 1970’s to 21 percent in 2000–07...



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