There is important and indeed some very bad news: Black women have built a huge lead over black men in college degree attainments. Today there are 2,670,000 black women with a four-year degree or better. This compares to only 1,909,000 black men. Therefore, it turns out that black women account for almost 58 percent of all the African Americans who have completed four years of college or more in our country.And
For those African Americans who have only a bachelor’s degree but no higher degree, black women have an even larger lead. There are 1,874,000 black women with a bachelor’s degree compared to 1,341,000 black men.
Some 669,000 black women hold a master’s degree compared to 409,000 black men. Thus, black women hold 62 percent of all African-American master’s degrees, an even larger share of their total in bachelor’s degree attainments.
Black men continue to have a lead over black women in their numbers of professional degrees. Approximately 88,000 black men have a professional degree in the United States today compared to 62,000 black women. But black women are closing the gap. As we show on page 64 of this issue of JBHE, black women now earn nearly two thirds of all new professional degrees earned by African Americans. Therefore, it will only be a few years before black women overtake black men in the total number of professional degrees held by living African Americans.
Black men continue to hold the lead in doctorates but here too the gap is closing rapidly. Today black women hold 65,000 of the 136,000 doctorates held by living African Americans. But black women now earn 65 percent of all new doctorates awarded to African Americans. Therefore, the overall gender gap in favor of black men is likely to evaporate in the near future.[my underlines]
Today black women hold a large lead over black men in enrollments in almost all undergraduate and graduate programs. And this gender gap has grown over the past 30 years. Most important, black women have a college graduation rate that is significantly higher than the rate for black men. This current and growing enrollment gender gap among African Americans, coupled with a far higher college graduation rate for black women compared to black men, means that in future years, the gender gap in African-American degree attainments is certain to grow even wider. The most serious news is that if present trends continue, a generation from now black women with a four-year college degree will outnumber black men with a bachelor’s degree by a ratio of 2 to 1.[My underlines]It is already that case that unlike every other ethnic and racial group in the US, Black women are more employed than black men. With Black women representing 54% of those employed and 47% of those unemployed (median weekly earnings being less though).