The educational gap between blacks and whites in the United States is wide and widening at the college graduate level. A less known fact is that the size of this gap differs across the various regions of the country. The difference is especially great for the Northeast, an area known for high average educational achievement.
This paper explores the reasons for the differential college completion gaps by race across regions, focusing chiefly on adults between the ages of 25 and 34. Two hypotheses are explored. One is that differential incidence by region of factors determining access to a college education is the principal determinant of the variation in the magnitude of the gaps. The other is that regional college completion gaps reflect ongoing differences among the regions in location preferences between blacks and whites.
The study concludes that variation across regions in college completion gaps between blacks and whites is a product both of differences in past factors affecting access to college and of ongoing differences in location preferences of black and white adults.