Black women now the most educated group in U.S.

#Blackgirlmagic hits the academy. But when will it hit our paychecks?

Angela Bronner Helm, The Root | 6/6/2016, 10:05 a.m.
#Blackgirlmagic hits the academy. But when will it hit our paychecks?
African-American women at Morgan State University during a graduation ceremony, Baltimore, Maryland, 1960. AFRO AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS/GADO/GETTY IMAGES

Good news, bad news.

A new report confirms that black women are now the most educated group in the United States. But we still have a long way to go for pay equity.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2009 and 2010, black women earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees and 65 percent of all doctorate degrees awarded to black students.

The report also says that black students attending college has increased from 10 to 15 percent from 1976 to 2012, while the percentage of white students fell from 84 to 60 percent.

By both race and gender, a higher percentage of black women (9.7 percent) is enrolled in college than any other group, topping Asian women (8.7 percent), white women (7.1 percent) and white men (6.1 percent).

Unfortunately, while black women may be the most highly educated, a recent study found black women make up just 8 percent of private sector jobs and less than 2 percent of leadership roles.

And as of 2013, black women earned just 64 cents to the white man’s dollar. White women earned 78 cents, black men 75 cents, Hispanic men 67 cents and Hispanic women make just 54 cents, as a percentage of white men’s median annual earnings.

The National Committee on Pay Equity’s research predicts that white women won’t receive equal pay until 2059—and they are ahead of black and Hispanic men and women. So where does that leave us?