U.S. Census: More Working Women Hold College Degrees over Men

MDbizMedia —  April 26, 2011 — Leave a comment

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia

Educational levels of American adults for 2010. Graphic courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau.

Thirty-seven percent of women among the employed population ages 25 and over obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 35 percent of men as of 2010, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today.  The report showed that among all adults 25 and older, 29.6 percent of women and 30.3 percent of men had at least a bachelor’s degree.

“In general terms, these data confirm the resilience of a persistent trend during the past 20 to 25 years, during which women have become more likely to pursue higher education and complete their degree while the opposite has applied to men,” said Ben Passmore, assistant vice chancellor for administration and finance for the University System of Maryland.

“The trend has particular ramifications for Maryland at both ends of the achievement spectrum. In populations that have not traditionally gone to college (under-represented minorities, low-income and first-generation students), female students significantly outperform their male counterparts — even more significantly than in the population as a whole.”

The 2010 report also showed that 87 percent of adults 25 and older had at least a high school diploma or equivalent, up from 84 percent in 2000.  The number of adults 25 and older that had at least a bachelor’s degree increased in 2010 to 30 percent, compared to the 26 percent in 2000.

The data was derived from the recent report, Educational Attainment in the United States, 2010 and examined the differences in education attainment of each gender, as well as demographic and socioeconomic factors.   According to the Census, “data on educational attainment are derived from a single question that asks, ‘What is the highest grade of school…has completed, or the highest degree…has received?’ This question was first implemented in the 1990 Decennial Census and changed in the Current Population Survey in 1992.”

“The challenge for higher education generally is to continue to support the students for whom we are expending considerable efforts to open access to higher education and ensure success. Women remain less likely to pursue majors in science and mathematics, a critical focal point for economic development in Maryland,” Passmore said.

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