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The New Great Migration and Black Marriage Trends in the South

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Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP2022-07


During the second half of the 20th century, Black and White marriage patterns began to dramatically diverge. Specifically, compared to their White counterparts, Black adults are less likely to marry, marry at later ages, and are more likely to divorce. Additionally, marriage has become increasingly selective of college-educated individuals. Since the 1970s, Black people have been returning to the South in large numbers, resulting in a New Great Migration and an increased percentage of affluent Black people residing in the South. Using data from the 2005-2009 and 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS), this study seeks to examine whether the percentage of college-educated Black adults in southern metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) is associated with marriage prevalence among Black adults within that MSA. We also examine whether this association has changed from the 2005-2009 and 2015-2019 periods.

The New Great Migration and Black Marriage Trends in the South [PDF - 1.1 MB], by Chanell Washington and Laquitta Walker. (SEHSD-WP2022-07). Presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, April 2022.

Page Last Revised - April 7, 2022
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