Monthly Archives: November 2022

HBCU LOVE: Top Ten HBCU States With Highest African American Marriage Rate

Why is HBCU Money talking about marriage? We thought this was a site about money. Well, there are many economists and community developers that agree that one of the most fundamental ingredients to wealth building is marriage. It allows for scaling of capital towards savings and investment, reduction of expenses, and an ability to provide familial stability. Unfortunately, like our median income and wealth, there is no group less likely to actually get married than African Americans. The hurdles to African American marriage are deep and complicated and the solutions to them potentially even more deep and complicated. All that said, anything that leads to higher marriage rates between African Americans can only add to the community’s ability to actually stabilize and empower itself socially, economically, and politically. We of course acknowledge that marriages come in all forms, but the most important form is a healthy, happy, and loving marriage.

National African American Marriage Rate – 29.7%

  1. Virginia – 34.0%
  2. Maryland – 33.2%
  3. Delaware & Texas – 32.8%
  4. Florida & North Carolina – 31.3%
  5. Georgia – 30.9%
  6. Oklahoma – 30.0%
  7. Arkansas – 29.8%
  8. California – 29.7%
  9. Alabama & South Carolina – 29.4%
  10. Mississippi – 28.9%

The question then becomes how can HBCU, their alumni, and others support organizations encourage more marriage among African Americans at HBCUs? This becomes vital for HBCU’s future because it could be suggested that a couple who both went to HBCUs would be more likely to send their child to an HBCU. Whereas a couple with only one HBCU parent present or no HBCU parents present is far less likely. To encourage coupling as part of an HBCU’s development strategy would by no means be simple given the ratio of women to men on HBCU campuses these days. Simply put, there are not enough men for women to choose from in the heterosexual relationships. And unless more data is collected on LGBTQ HBCU students, there may not be a viable quantity there for them either. This is why it would be important if this was to be considered that a network of HBCU development offices strategize together and increase the probability of matchmaking.

Tracking the statistics on HBCU marriage and family would also be immensely valuable information. An opportunity that certainly presents itself for further research by Hampton University’s National Center on African American Marriage and Parenting. Very little data is actually known on HBCU marriages and families.

Ultimately, HBCUs and their alumni though who can encourage more marriage among HBCU students/graduates must do so through ensuring those relationships are healthy. This means that there must be more mental and physical health development, financial literacy, and relationship etiquette taught. With seven of the ten HBCU states exceeding the national average for African American marriage the ingredients are certainly there for this seed to grow, but it indeed must be watered if we truly plan to see more marriage and healthier marriage which we know can also be one of the key tenets to community formation and building.

Source: U.S. Census

2022 African American High School Graduation Rate by HBCU/PBI States

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Only one HBCU/PBI state has an African American high school graduation rate above 90 percent (Maryland) and only one has a high school graduation rate below 80 percent (Mississippi). The U.S. high school graduation rate is 90.04 percent, while the African American high school graduation rate is 87 percent. There are 23 HBCU/PBI states and only five have an African American high school graduation rate above the African American national average and only one is above the overall national average.

This does not even begin to address the extreme direness that is African American male graduation rate which among the most recent reports by the Schott Foundation shows the African American male high school graduation rate at 59 percent, lowest among all groups in the U.S. Unfortunately, that data is from 2015 so where exactly it stands in the current is hard to know. Any assumption that is has improved greatly or that males have moved out of last place can be quickly dowsed with the gender gap review of colleges and universities and HBCUs in particular. The result is that on campuses like Howard University there are almost 75 percent women and just barely above 25 percent men.

Making the future for forming African American families and equitable partnerships that much more complicated. An argument that African American communities hyper focus Black boys on sports from an early age and Black girls on academics certainly must be part of the conversation. The educational achievement spectrum shows an immense gender gap across all levels of educational obtainment. Further complicating this dynamic is in employment African American women have almost one million more jobs than men. There is no other group where the women outnumber the men in terms of employment. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did low education lead to low employment or vice versa?

What is for certain is that the future of HBCUs lie in more investment in early childhood through 12th grade education. A conversation of how HBCUs, their alumni, and other organizations can invest in a more coordinated and strategic way to impact the pipeline of African Americans that will ultimately matriculate to college is vitally necessary. If HBCUs could show themselves at the vanguard of that movement, then perhaps HBCUs would see an increase in the market share of African Americans who go to college choosing HBCUs. As it stands, while the populations at HBCUs are increasing, the percentage of African American students who go to college choosing HBCUs remains at around 9 to 10 percent.

Maryland – 90.23%

California – 89..78%

Texas – 89.77%

Delaware – 89.27%

Oklahoma – 89.09%

Georgia – 86.67%

Illinois – 86.52%

Missouri – 86.37%

Pennsylvania – 86.35%

Kentucky – 86.21%

Michigan – 86.14%

Tennessee – 85.99%

Virginia – 85.95%

Ohio – 85.86%

North Carolina – 85.56%

Massachusetts – 85.55%

New York – 83.82%

Arkansas – 83.64%

Alabama – 83.22%

Florida – 83.21%

South Carolina – 82.49%

Louisiana – 80.06%

Mississippi – 79.71%

Source: World Population Review