Statistics on Marriage, Divorce, and Living Arrangements

I often quote the statistics on black families and marriage and we had a brief conversation about the myths about black men and women around social demographics. The fact that we often say “there are not enough men” or “not enough of the right men” leads to certain behavior or lack of behavior on the part of women who may be resigned and cynical from such talk. There are plenty of men cause you only need one and there’s definitely more than one out there to choose from. In any case, it is good to know the state of the black world demographically. To make choices not from what we think is going on but what the numbers, which are always changing, are at any given time. I think these numbers support the need for Success with the Opposite Sex: Get Related not Dated (TM).

On the whole, Blacks or African Americans (hereafter called Blacks) have lower rates of marriage and marital stability than all other ethnic groups. They also have higher rates of single-headed families than other groups.

  • Black males and females are more likely to be unmarried than Whites, Hispanics, or American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AIAN) (42.2% for males, 40.8% for females, compared to 27.5% and 21.2% respectively for Whites, 38.2% and 30.3% for Hispanics, and 35.7% ad 29.9% for AIAN ).(ACS 2002)
  • Black individuals are far more likely than Whites and Hispanics to be divorced (in 2002, 9.4% of Black males were divorced, and 13.3% of Black females versus 9.1 % and 11.3% respectively for Whites and 5.9% and 9.3% for Hispanics). (ACS 2002)
  • Among married Black individuals, a greater percentage is living apart from their spouses than among married White and AIAN individuals (15.7% for Black males, 24.1% for Black females, versus 5.3% and 6.3% respectively for Whites and 11.1% and 12.8% for AIAN). Only Hispanics have a higher rate of living apart from their spouse than do Blacks – 16.2% for males and 16.9% for females (in many cases this may be due to immigration complications). (ACS 2002)
  • Black families are less likely to contain a married couple than all other groups (46.0% versus 81.0%). White families have an 81% chance of containing a married couple, AIAN families have a 67% chance, and Hispanics have a 67.4% chance. (Census 2000)
  • Single male-headed families are slightly more likely in Black homes than in White family homes (about 8.5% versus 5.3% for whites.). Hispanics and AIANs have a higher rate of single male headed families (10.3% and 10.4% respectively). (Census 2000)
  • Single female-headed families are far more likely in Black homes than in all other groups’ homes (45.4% versus 13.7%). By contrast, Whites have a 13.7% rate, AIANs have a 28.8% rate, and Hispanics have a 22.3% rate of single female headed families. (Census 2000)
  • Only 44.9% of Black householders in family households live with a spouse. This compares with 80.6% for Whites, 60.1% for AIAN, and 70.2% for Hispanics. (Census 2000)

Statistics on Childbearing

Unmarried Black women constitute a majority of childbearing Black women and the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing is increasing. Furthermore, teenage childbearing among Black women is high, although the rate is declining faster than in any other group.

Though one may or may not agree with all that Julia Hare says at the State of Black America CNN special in honor of Jamestown’s anniversary but what you can take from this video is the need, the dire need for a transformation of what we’ve been through as black men and women.

2 thoughts on “Statistics on Marriage, Divorce, and Living Arrangements

  1. I am wondering what you and I each are doing (negatively) to contribute to healthy black relationships in our community? Can you really be with what you and I might be doing that is at the root of why African Americans have lower rates of marriage and marital stability than all other ethnic groups in the US? Why we also have higher rates of single-headed families than other groups? There may not be a specific answer. May be different for each of us.

    Please note: I don’t mean the past things (slavery, institutional racism, male dominance or black superwoman myth) which we all clearly know about. I mean what specific ways of being, what contemporary actions, or what lack of actions and intentions (law of attraction) are contributing to these effects.

    I think it’s gotta be things we are doing right now that are the most destructive to healthy black relationships cause the past is the past. And we can’t change that but as Tolstoy once said EVERYONE WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD BUT NOBODY WANTS TO CHANGE THEMSELVES.

  2. What do you think?

    I’ll begin. Sometimes I am so put off by brothers on the street (psst. can I walk with you. and looks after my “ass” has passed) that I treat them like objects rather than human beings whom I could interact with anyhow and be straight that though I don’t like their reaction I get they are trying to be friendly. It’ll take something for me to practice it but I am willing.

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