NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 1, 2005

Black and Asian women with bachelor's degrees earn slightly more than white women, and white men with four-year degrees make more than anyone else, says the Associated Press in the New York Times.

According to new data released by the Census Bureau, in 2003:

  • For college educated women, a white woman typically earned $37,800, compared with nearly $43,700 for an Asian woman, $41,000 for a black woman and $37,600 for a Hispanic woman.
  • A white male with a college diploma earns far more than any similarly educated man or woman -- in excess of $66,000 a year.
  • Among other men with bachelor's degrees, Asian men earned $52,000, Hispanic men earned $49,000 and black men earned more than $45,000.

While the bureau did not say why the differences exist, economists and sociologists suggest one possible factor is the tendency of minority women, especially blacks, to hold more than one job or work more than forty hours a week. Black professional women also have a tendency to return to work sooner after having a child, say observers.

Employers in some fields may give extra financial incentives to young black women or it could be the fields that educated black women are choosing. As for the disparities among men, experts suggest that demographics and workplace discrimination play a part.

Despite the disparities among race or gender, college graduates on average earn over $51,000 yearly, compared to only $28,000 for workers with only a high school diploma or an equivalent degree.

Source: Associated Press, "Income Gaps Found Among the College-Educated," New York Times, March 28, 2005.

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