Measuring the Gender Gap in Degree Attainment

Census_Bureau_seal.svgA new report from the U.S. Census Bureau offers a detailed look at educational attainment in the United States. The data shows that in 2013, 33,774,000 women in the United States over the age of 25 had completed at least a four-year bachelor’s degree program. This was 31.4 percent of all adult women in the United States. For adult men, 32 percent had achieved at least a bachelor’s degree.

Undoubtedly, the major factor in why men continue to have a slight overall lead is that older men were much more likely to have completed college than older women. Today, women earn far more degrees than men.

The new census data shows that more than 9.6 million American women over the age of 25 hold master’s degrees but no higher degree. This compares to 7.8 million adult men over the age of 25.

Men continue to have a lead over women in professional and doctoral degrees. In 2013, 1,191,000 American women over the age of 25 held a professional degree compared to 1,876,000 adult men. Some 1,278,000 adult American women held doctorates. Men continue to have a large lead with 2,192,000 doctorates.

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