A Social Mobility Memo published April 9 by The Brookings Institution revealed that college-educated African-American women are less likely to marry well-educated men. In all, 49 percent married well-educated men compared to 84 percent of white women with similar educational backgrounds.
The discrepancies, the study finds, are due to black women being less likely to marry across racial lines and the low rate of African-American men, who attain a college education.
(According to the American Community Survey, black men are second behind Latino men for being the least likely to earn a college degree.)
This can not only pose a financial hardship to African-American women, but it can also set up their marriages to fail since education plays in to financial issues, which are the leading cause of divorce in the United States.
Other key findings of the memo per DiversityInc.:
- In the past few decades, marriage rates in the U.S. have fallen sharply, and sharpest of all in the Black population.
- The proportion of Black college graduates aged 25 to 35 who have never married is 60 percent, compared to 38 percent for white college-educated women.
- Married Black women who are college graduates are much more likely to have a husband with a lower level of education (58 percent), compared to whites of a similar background (48 percent).
- “Even if Black women rise up the ladder in part because of their efforts to acquire more education, one of the key mechanisms for maintaining that higher status for the next generation — assortative mating — is less available to them,” the study authors wrote.
While the study deals with Black women in particular, it does highlight a common theme that exists in marriages that don’t work versus those that do. By having similar education levels, you are more likely to achieve higher degrees of financial success. You are also more likely to connect on a mental level as well as physical with your chosen partner, which can be particularly helpful during the years of a marriage where you’re without children and you don’t have a common goal (i.e. child-rearing).
How important is the education level of your spouse? Sound off in the comments section.