Black Women are not the most educated group in the United States

Several news media have published in the past weeks that Black Women are the most educated group in the United States or that they are the most educated according to race and gender. I decided to look into the statistics, ran some numbers, and found out that this is not the case. Black Women don’t perform as well as Caucasian and Asian Men and Women.

Here are examples of articles that wrongly claim that Black Women are the most educated group:

These media outlets have misrepresented the statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics and have misunderstood the report’s finding that

“From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate’s degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master’s and doctor’s degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10. Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10. For example, among U.S. residents, Black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to Black students.”

From this, they conclude that Black Women are therefore necessarily the most educated group. What it shows however, is not that Black Women are the most educated, but that they have the highest proportion of graduates in comparison to their male counterparts by race. See here the data from the NCES:

Degrees conferred to Black Women
Table 1: Number of degrees conferred to females.

The data shows the following:

  • of the total Black population with an Associate Degree, 68% are female and 32% are male;
  • of the total Black population with a Bachelor’s Degree, 66% are female and 34% are male;
  • of the total Black population with a Master’s Degree, 71% are female and 29% are male;
  • of the total Black population with a Doctor’s Degree, 65% are female and 35% are male.

These findings indicate that Black Women have been much more successful in their educational endeavors in comparison to Black Men, but tell us nothing about the educational performances of Black Women compared to those of other or similar sexes of other races.

What is striking about the statistics of the NCES is that women far outperform men for all races. This graph is a clear depiction of that finding:

Degrees conferred to females
Table 2: Degrees conferred to females.

We can therefore conclude that women are more successful in obtaining degrees in Higher Education than men, but the gender gap is nowhere as wide for other races than for Blacks.

In order to have more insights in how well educated Black Women are compared to other groups, I have looked at statistics from the NCES on the educational level of people that are 25-29 years old:

Bachelor's degrees or higher for people ages 25-29 by race
Table 3: Bachelor’s degree or higher conferred by race.

According to the NCES, 60.1% of Asians aged 25-29 have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Hispanics are the lowest performing group with 15.7%. Blacks have 20.5% and Whites 40.4%. Since the obtainment of Bachelor’s Degrees decreases the obtainment of Associate Degrees, it is more meaningful to look at the percentages of Bachelor’s Degrees or higher than to the percentages of conferred Associate Degrees. This graph however, has not specified the proportion of degree holders by gender. To approximate the degree holding male-female proportion, I have looked at table 1.

I have not found statistics that indicate the proportion of exclusively Asian degree holders by sex in Higher Education so I will make the assumption that the percentage of conferrals to Asian Women among the Asian population is approximately the same as that for Asian/Pacific Islander Women at around 55%. Hence, among the Asian group of which 60.1% aged 25-29 hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 55% are female: 33% of the total Asian population is female and holds a Bachelor’s degree or higher. 20.5% of Blacks aged 25-29 hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher of which around 68% is female. This means that around 14% of the total Black population is female and holds a Bachelor’s degree or higher. We can thus conclude that Asian Women perform much better educationally than Black Women with a ratio of almost 2:5.

How do Black Women perform in comparison to White Women? If we say that around 58% – this may not be entirely accurate, but from the NCES statistics it is reasonable to assume this number – of Bachelor’s Degrees and higher conferred to Whites are conferred to Women, we can assert that approximately 23% aged 25-29 of the total white population that have obtained these degrees are Women. According to my calculation, White Women thus perform far better than Black Women as well.

What if you would compare Black Women with Asian Men? According to my calculation, around 27% of all Bachelor’s Degrees and higher that have been conferred to the Asian population were conferred to Asian Men. Asian Men hence outperform Black Women with an approximate ratio of 1:2.

If you would compare Black Women with White Men, we can find that around 17.4% of the white population aged 25-29 that have obtained a Bachelor’s Degrees or higher are Men. This again is higher than the 14% of Black Women.

You can find a clear overview of my findings in the following table:

Group by gender and race Percentage holding Bachelor’s or higher degree w.r.t. their race
Black Men 7%
Black Women 14%
White Men 17%
White Women 23%
Asian Men 27%
Asian Women 33%

Conclusion
Black Women are by far not the most educated group within the United States. According to my calculations Black Women proportionally hold fewer Bachelor’s Degrees or higher compared to White Men, White Women, Asian Men, and Asian Women. An Asian Woman aged 25-29 is almost 2.5 times more likely to hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher than a Black Woman aged 25-29. An Asian Man is almost 2 times more likely to hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. White Women more than 1.5 times more likely. I have not included Hispanics into my calculations, but I can see in one glance that Black Women do perform better than female and male Hispanics. Comparing Black Men with Asian Women, I find it shocking that an Asian Woman is almost 5 times more likely to hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher than a Black Man.

I find it a shame that many news media have misinterpreted the data from the NCES and have spread the untruth that Black Women are the most educated group in the United States. Lastly, I would like to add that in order to gain more insights in how much better educated a group is we should also look into the type and quality of the courses and universities where these degrees were conferred. This is something I have not looked into.

References
Black Women Are Now The Most Educated Group In The U.S.
National Center for Education Statistics
Report: Black Women Have Become The Most Educated Group In The U.S.
Study: Black Women Most Educated in U.S.

16 thoughts on “Black Women are not the most educated group in the United States

  1. I would be much unhappier about the distortion if I’d ever heard of any of the three media outlets you cited.

  2. Can you elaborate on this point?: “Since the obtainment of Bachelor’s Degrees decreases the obtainment of Associate Degrees, it is more meaningful to look at the percentages of Bachelor’s Degrees or higher than to the percentages of conferred Associate Degrees.”

    Why is it more meaningful to disregard Associates degrees? Are those obtaining/that have obtained an associates degree not educated?

    • Those with AD’s are educated as well, but if you look at how the statistics are built up it is more meaningful to look at people with BD’s and higher.

      A person who receives a BD is less likely to get an AD, and is not counted in the statistics as someone with an AD.

      Also, imagine population 1 with 80% who hold a Bachelor’s Degree and 20% who hold an Associate Degree. And compare this with population 2 where 20% hold a Bachelor’s Degree and 80% with an Associate Degree. Although all hold a Higher Education Degree, Population 1 is clearly higher educated.

  3. And people go to community college for all kinds of reasons, some distantly related to education as conventionally defined, some of which lead to AA degrees. I am thinking welding and oral hygiene. P S I earned an AA long ago, “With Distinction,” if you must know.

  4. It seems that the author feels threatened by the amount of African women pushing Asian women out of the top spot in the US. Also she used information from unknown sources that lack any real nationally verified association. The things people will do to throw Africans and people of African descent under the bus. That kind of low ball tactic literally makes these people prove their own inferiority. There is another article on google by a white man trying to do the same thing. These people fear Africans our progress and our unity. White people in this country got a 400 year head start and Asians got maybe 70 or so years, yet these people are crying and belittling Africans when we take one step forward. What a group of extremely pathetic and bad people. Leave black women alone!

    • You are right about the 400 year head start that Caucasians have had in America But the Article is accurate, Black Women are not the MOST EDUCATED demographic in the U.S. They deceived people with skewed Statistics. Within their Racial group, Yes Black Females received more degrees than their male counterparts BUT women across the Board in EVERY racial group received more degrees than their male counterparts. So Women in General are more “Educated” than Men.

    • All the black women on here mad at statistics because they don’t have reading comprehension. Even if the college part was true which it isn’t it only proves you have a higher lead over your men than any other race, what about average IQ/ the average black IQ is 85 in the USA. the countries with the lowest IQ’s are all black countries. There are those who will say IQ tests are racist. No, they are not. And you’re sitting there saying that other races are “Threatened by you” I grew up in the PJ’s ok? I went to school with black people. Their graduation rate was lower than anybody else’s they always took the longest time to read a single sentence in class. That has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with a culture not valuing education. What race calls their own a sellout when they get educated the most? I rest my case. The most educated blacks in this country are actually African immigrants and those studies that talk about black women being most educated also leave out that most of those graduates are African not African American.

      A 5 year old with no prior schooling can take an IQ test so you can’t say that they are culturally biased and if they were, explain why Asians are more intelligent than white people are? Why would the white man let Asians get ahead? Afrocentric morons like Tariq Nasheed think that it was to spite the poor black man but he has no proof of that. The reality is the Asian value of work ethic and education is different look at countries like Japan and how long work days and school days are arguably they are too long and it leads to high stress but it still shows why they surpass white people.

      Asians were part of civil rights movements too from Filipino farm workers dating back to the late 1800’s same with Mexican Americans but only blacks ever get credit for it because liberal YT only feels bad for what he did to blacks not any other non white groups I mean if we are considering people intelligent just based off their college majors when the majority of people of all races are not in college, but you want to discredit IQ scores which say that black people have the lowest then you are logically inconsistent.

      I’m Kanienkehaka nation myself not white black or Asian my race is the poorest demographic but not the lowest in intelligence. Asians are intelligent and I want my people to strive to do what they do intelligence and wealth wise. I don’t need to look up to whites I’m smarter than the average white person and the fact that white people themselves could be outdone by Asians in academia and wealth in a country they stole from my people and set up for themselves to be at the top and us at the bottom, that proves white mediocrity.
      ]

      For my own race what I will say is this. We can blame the white man and everybody else for what they have have done to us in colonization, white people with manifest destiny, blacks with the buffalo soldiers and african conquistadors, Asians such as the Chinese railroad men who built railroads for the white man through our land and the Jewish and Moorish Arab conquistadors that helped Spain steal Indigenous land and there is even a case to be made that the residential schools our ancestors were put into is part of why many of us don’t do as well in school it isn’t as low as the black graduation rate but it’s still pretty negligible.

      The thing is, the history books are just as anti Asian as they are anti Indigenous but the Asians put that aside and they bit the bullet and they knew that the HIS STORY was bullshit, they knew the math and science was more or less accurate, and they did what they had to do to get ahead. That’s what we have to do what anybody has to do to get ahead.If we don’t take responsibility ourselves, go to school, have kids later not sooner, abstain from drugs and alcohol, etc then we will continue to be poor and colonized.

      When the Asians first got to this country they were very poorly educated. They couldn’t read but they worked hard and flourished within three generations.

  5. Figure 24.4. Percentage distribution of associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees awarded by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex: Academic year 2015–16

    NOTE: Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
    SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2016, Completions component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2017, tables 321.20 and 322.20.
    Across all racial/ethnic groups, female students earned the majority of certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. For example, the shares of bachelor’s degrees earned by female students were 64 percent for Black students, 61 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students, 60 percent for Hispanic students, 59 percent for students of Two or more races, 56 percent for White students, and 54 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students.

  6. You can’t just disregard associates degrees and think you have a valid argument. All degrees are considered a form of higher education.

    • So very observable and statistically true. All degrees are relevant. Stop it.

  7. Now that’s how you make a point! Ignore the concept of “Per Capita”. Exclude data from all age groups that might detract from your argument (and only include a subset of the population that might support your statement). Oh and exclude a whole class of degrees (you don’t value them anyway, so they shouldn’t count, right?)

    Just a hint: If you exclude historically black university graduates, those who graduated abroad, and nurses, your numbers might go up.

  8. With all due respect, this is one of the reasons why there is division in the United States. We point fingers at and disparage each other instead of celebrating our diversity and uniqueness. One race in particular claims to be superior to others that don’t look like and don’t have the same culture as others, like it’s wrong. Can we just coexist and stop these petty and pointless arguments. How about no one is better than anyone? God created one race, the human race.

    • No humans are a species not a race. There is no human race only species with races within that species. No, we can’t co exist. If it were possible it would have been done already and also nobody asked for your religious nonsense this has nothing to do with the bible. I agree we are all unique as races but if we are unique we are not the same.

      The United States was founded on genocide slavery and white supremacy. It would not exist without racism. The founding fathers were all white nationalists. They intended no rights for non whites.But this is not European land. Nor is it African or Asian. It’s Turtle Island.

      The discussion was who is the most educated and a lot of black people much like white people IE who they are most like despite claiming to hate them, and they often create fringe conspiracy theories such as We Wuz Kangz and claim they were the founders of civilizations they had no part of. Likewise, black women being most educated is another unsubstantiated claim.

      They often say black women are most educated they claim other races are threatened by them but in reality even if it were true they would use it to feel superior but when Asian were the smartest for years they just claimed Asians got unfair opportunities so they claim other races shouldn’t feel threatened by them but when Asians had and still have the highest average IQ they claim that Asians jut got an unfair advantage.

      Black people are like children and the way they are throwing tantrums over somebody daring to disagree with their unsubstantiated claim proves it. Hell, the scenes they cause in restaurants when they feel even a little slighted proves they are like children. Not all but most.They are like spoiled children while white people are like bad parents. I’m nor saying that the dynamic between the two is supposed to be paternalistic but in America it is.

      White people coddle them more than any other race. They then accuse us non black minorities of being anti black because they can’t appeal to white guilt because we are not white. I do not have a problem with African immigrants, Caribbean blacks or Afro Latinos. They are hard working family oriented mostly good people. It is African Americans who are the most similar culturally to white people (who I also can’t stand) and who have the most white blood compared to those other black nationalities that also were enslaved that I have issues with. And all those black nationalities i just named are also people who African Americans hate on needlessly so it’s not a matter of anti blackness but anti African American specifically.

      Racism and white supremacy as we know it today was actually invented by white European Christians so it’s a joke when you say God created one race you can take your bible to church it has no relevance here

Please keep it civil

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