Looking for a Few Good Black Men: The Eligible Black Males Shortage

Most of us are familiar with the “shortage of eligible black males issue” in the black community. It’s been talked about on Oprah and in other places; check out this video from Oprah, which says that 70% of African American women are single:

James Flynn, who has written extensively on issues of race, class, and IQ, has recently published the book Where Have all the Liberals Gone?: Race, Class and Ideals in America. Among numerous topics, the book offers several insights on the social conditions of African Americans. This table on the “Marriage Market” for American women is especially noteworthy:

Table: Marriage Prospects of Women (Ages 25-40)

For every 100 White Women there are…

86 promising potential spouses (shortfall = 14)
• 80 in adequate civilian employment
• 2 in the military
• 4 men who have married in from another race

20 unpromising potential spouses
• 16 not in adequate civilian employment
• 1 in jail/prison
• 3 white men married someone of another race

For every 100 Black Women there are…

57 promising potential spouses (shortfall = 43)
• 53 in adequate civilian employment
• 2 in the military
• 2 men who have married in from another race

39 unpromising potential spouses
• 24 not in adequate civilian employment
• 10 in jail/prison
• 5 black men married someone of another race

4 unavailable potential spouses
• 4 either deceased or missing

For every 100 Hispanic Women there are…

99 promising spouses (Actually 96) (shortfall = 4)
• 89 in adequate civilian employment
• 1 in the military
• 9 men who have married in from another race

30 unpromising spouses
• 18 not in adequate civilian employment
• 3 in jail/prison
• 9 Hispanic married someone of another race

This slightly edited excerpt from the book explains the numbers:

The above table sets out the plight of black women in contemporary America. For every 100 black women in the peak ages of marriage, there are only 57 men who promise to be permanent and supporting partners.

The criterion for “promising spouse” for black women is that a male is black and worked more than 26 weeks in the previous year or was in the armed forces; those few non-blacks who have a black wife are also assumed to qualify. Those who do not qualify are black males in prison, those who worked 26 weeks or less, and those who have a non-black wife.

Notice that promising + unpromising spouses do not add up to zero. This is because, in the case of black women, there are far fewer black males than black females because many black males are dead or missing. My survey shows that about 94 black men exist for every 100 black women aged 25 to 40.

The Hispanic surplus of males is huge because there are so many more male immigrants.

Note that, only 2.19% of black women today are living with a non-black husband. Indeed, black women are losers from whatever interracial marriage exits: five black men leave the pool of potential spouses to partner with non-black women, while only two black women find a long-term spouse outside their race.

I hope to provide additional passages from the book in the next few weeks.

Update: This is how some black women are coping with this problem:

Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine


Date a White Guy

2 thoughts on “Looking for a Few Good Black Men: The Eligible Black Males Shortage

  1. I as an educated and professional African-American man agree to the majority of issues delivered in this blog; however, I am very reluctant to believe the validity of these statistics. I have done my own research from within the African-American community and find conflicting evidence that makes me wonder about those who manipulate and skew the data reported by the federal government and main-stream media regarding the African-American race and culture.

    There are a few things missing from the information provided above. For example: How were these samples measured? What was the goal of the survey? Did the surveyor include lesbians in addition to imprisoned and mentally impaired women? What was the age range of each woman sampled, and what was they’re ethnicity.

    I’ve learned over time how misleading people can be; especially when it comes to being hard-pressed to broadcast some form of negative information.

    Overall, African-American singles and couples are struggling. The numbers of homosexual men and women are soaring while the incarceration rate maintains its dismal status. These are facts, however, these are not issues solely related to Blacks.

    The good Black man exists. It is the faith in him that has been lost. Let us not pretend that there are billions of perfect, marriage-worthy women sitting around waiting on all men to get their acts together. Let’s be real. There’s more to it than that.


    Aaron Anwar Smith

  2. While there is some truth to what is wrtten here, the problem I have and have always had is “how does one define a good black man/woman?” My point is what is good for one person may not be good for the next… We try to identfiy people by things that are tangible such as education, financial stability, married, kids, prison and so forth… While those are all traits and characteristics of a man, they do not define a man or woman and neither does it signify whether they are a good man / woman or not… I am of the belief that what we put out is what we get back… If we think there are no good black men out there, then don’t be upset when you are alone or when you end up with what you asked for and above all prepared yourself for… Yes, I agree a man needs to responsible and respectful, however get away from the stats and the fiarytales of what love is or isn’t. Love is not based on condition, how someone looks, how much money or education someone has, whether they have been to prison or not, where they live and so forth… Allow a man to get to know you and you get to know him and then make your decisions… In the end, I don’t care if he is your knight in shining armor, does everything just how you like, rocks your world in the bedroom and have many things in common… The defining point is when differences surface and they will… Then when the two of you can work out differences and still come together and make it work, then you have something special… In closing… When a man and woman are not having sex or out spending money can they get along… Think about it… Peace

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