Ranking the States by the Percentage of Women Among Their Doctoral Degree Recipients

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that universities in the United States conferred 55,283 doctorates in 2020. Of these, 25,392, or 45.9 percent, were earned by women.

California awarded the most doctorates to women of any other state by a large margin. Women earned 2,591 doctorates at California universities in 2020. The next highest total was in New York, where women earned 1,994 doctorates. The only other states where more than 1,000 women received doctoral degrees in 2020 were Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida.

Only 27 women earned doctorates from universities in Vermont in 2020, the fewest in the nation. Alaska, Maine, Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota, each awarded fewer than 50 doctorates to women.

Perhaps a more interesting series of statistics is what percentage of all doctorates awarded in a given state went to women. Despite the fact that nationwide men earned more doctoral degrees than women in 2020, there were several states where women earned more doctorates than men.

In Minnesota, women earned 919 doctorates compared to only 626 men. Thus, women earned nearly three fifths of all doctorates awarded in the state in 2020, the highest percentage in the nation. In Hawaii, 57 percent of all doctorates were awarded to women and in New Mexico and Alaska, women earned 55 percent of all doctorates in 2020. Women also earned a majority of all doctorates in 2020 in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. In Montana, 60 women and 60 men earned doctorates.

In Wyoming, women made up only 34 percent of all doctorates awarded in the state in 2020, the lowest percentage in the nation. The only other states where women earned less than 40 percent of all doctorates were Idaho, Indiana, South Dakota, and Utah,

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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