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Educated black women less likely to marry

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Black women have made great gains in higher education and employment, yet the gains may have come at the cost of marriage and family, U.S. researchers say.

Study co-author Hannah Brueckner of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., says the study -- which reviewed 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. They were also twice as likely to be divorced, widowed or separated.

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"Highly educated black women have increasingly fewer options when it comes to potential mates," Brueckner says in a statement. "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."

Using U.S. Census data, Brueckner and lead author Natalie Nitsche, a graduate student at Yale University, found black women were more likely than white women to have children early in their academic careers, while 45 percent of those born between 1955-1960 were childless at age 45 compared to 35 percent of white women born in the same time period.

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The finding was presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco.

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