Marriage down among educated black women

Aug. 8, 2009 at 5:13 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Fewer highly educated black women in the United States are getting married and starting a family, researchers say.

Yale University sociology Professor Hannah Brueckner, who co-wrote a study regarding highly educated black women, said a growing number of them have been focusing on education rather than families and marriage during the last 40 years, the American Sociology Association reported Saturday.

"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," Brueckner said.

The study on family formation and marriage longitudinal trends in the specified demographic found the marriage gap between highly educated black and white women increased dramatically between the 1970s and recent years.

In the 1970s the gap was 9 percent, while that gap rose to 21 percent in 2000-2007.

Brueckner said the growing divide may be due to a lack of acceptable partners for highly educated black women.

"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," he suggested.

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