NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Blacks Less Likely to Say, "I Do"

May 22, 2003

Blacks are less likely to be married than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Based on the Annual Demographic Supplement to the March 2002 Current Population Survey (CPS), the Census found that among the 26.2 million Blacks and the 158.3 million non-Hispanic Whites 15 years old and older, 10 percent of each were divorced and about 6 percent of each were widowed.

  • But 43 percent of Blacks had never married, compared with 25 percent of non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Blacks were less likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to be currently married (35 percent and 57 percent, respectively).

The report also found that the marital distributions of Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites varied by sex.

  • In 2002, in both groups, women were more likely than men to be widowed, separated or divorced, and less likely to be never married or currently married.
  • Black men were more likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to be never married -- 45 and 28 percent, respectively.
  • The comparable figures for women were 42 percent and 21 percent.

Source: Jesse McKinnon, "The Black Population in the United States: March 2002, Population Characteristics," Current Population Reports, April 2003, U.S. Census Bureau.

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