Fact Check: 83 Percent Of Black Men Earning $100K Annual Income Marry Black Women

Fact Check: 83 Percent Of Black Men Earning $100K Annual Income Marry Black Women

Black marry
Fact Check: 83 Percent Of Black Men Earning $100K Annual Income Marry Black Women. Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash

There are many myths about Black marriage. Some claim that Black men are marrying at higher numbers out of their race. Others claim that Black women just aren’t getting married. Another myth claims that successful Black men aren’t marrying Black women. For the latter, the opposite is true. Black men who earn $100,000 or more are marrying Black women, according to an analysis of U.S. census data and other figures.

A Yale University study found that just 42 percent of Black women are married. Researchers Ivory A. Toldson of Howard University and Bryant Marks of Morehouse College questioned the accuracy of that study.

“The often-cited figure of 42 percent of Black women never marrying includes all Black women 18 and older,” Toldson told The Root in 2011. “Raising this age in an analysis eliminates age groups we don’t really expect to be married and gives a more accurate estimate of true marriage rates.”

After analyzing census data from 2005 to 2009, Toldson and Marks found that 75 percent of Black women marry before they turn 35. Additionally, Black women in small towns have higher marriage rates than white women in urban areas such as New York and Los Angeles.

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There has long been the belief — and stats seem to back it up — that Black women with higher education have a harder time getting married. But “Black women who finish college actually improve their chances of marrying rather than lower them,” ThoughtCo reported.

“Among Black women, 70 percent of college graduates are married by 40, whereas only about 60 percent of Black high school graduates are married by that age,” Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times reported.

Black women with a postsecondary degree have more of a chance to marry than a white woman who dropped out of high school, The New York Times reported. Black women with a personal annual income of more than $75,000 are more than twice as apt to get married as white women living in poverty. 

For Black men with a college degree, 76 percent are married by age 40, according to 2008 data. Only 63 percent of Black men with just a high school diploma wed. 

Using this data, it seems that education increases the likelihood of marriage for both Black men and women. 

When it comes to income, there has long been a belief that Black men marry outside of their race when they become successful. But it seems that successful Black men marry Black women. After an analysis of census data, Toldson and Marks found that 83 percent of married Black men who earned at least $100,000 annually married Black women.

The same is true for educated Black men of all incomes. “Eighty-five percent of Black male college graduates married Black women. Generally, 88 percent of married Black men (no matter their income or educational background) have Black wives,” ThoughtCo. Reported.

Another study done in 2015 by Pew Research found that 75 percent of recently married Black men were married to Black women. Black men marrying Black women is the norm. 

There is a lower marriage rate for Black women living in urban centers, where lifestyle and cost of living appear less conducive to marriage and family.

According to an American Community Survey, lower marriage rates among Black people have nothing to do with race but with educational and income disparities between races, The New York Times reported.

Dating for Black women in the U.S. can be difficult. Single Black women are faced with a “parade of racist stereotypes: that we’re angry, overbearing, lazy, prudish and hyper-sexual and emasculating all at once,” NPR reported.

Besides this, Black women have to deal with stereotypes about Black men. Back women who want to date Black men “really get the message that he’s not out there,” said LaDawn Black, an author and relationship expert.

This, she said, is a myth. There are other myths, according to LaDawn Black: “He’s not going to college. He’s not interested in you because he’s interested in dating women of other ethnicities. … Or, he’s just not available to you because maybe he’s in jail, or just not healthy, or addicted.”

Media plays up the stereotypes when it comes to the professional Black woman. Take TV dramas like “Scandal,” ”How to Get Away with Murder,” and “Being Mary Jane,” (all shows written by Black women), for example. In them, the successful women are either finding it difficult to have a solid relationship with a Black man or in relationships with white men.

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“They excel at their professions and are great at what they do. They are all single. They are all powerful, headstrong, dominant women. Most importantly, they are all Black. However, the inevitable downfall comes when their characters are analyzed more in-depth…They are aggressive, emasculating, and hypersexual. There are many instances in their shows where they use sex to get ahead or aggression to emphasize their dominance,” wrote Kimberly-Joy M. Walters in a 2015 research paper for Ursinus College entitled “Statistical Plight of Black Women.”

Walters added, “More attention should be brought upon how powerful media perceptions of professional Black women are and its effects on the interpretation of the professional Black women experience. Television is a powerful cultural tool. What is shown on TV has a great influence on people’s perceptions of Black women,” Walters wrote.