Women earn 58.4% of college degrees


For every 100 male college graduates in the class of 13, there are 140 women, the U.S. Education Department estimates. That’s a “stunning” and growing gender gap, writes Mark Perry on AEI Ideas. Since 1982, women have earned 9.7 million more degrees than men.

Do colleges need all those women’s centers? he asks.


About Joanne


  1. Thunderbottom says:

    Are there any statistics as to the majors that these women are getting their degrees? I’d wager that at least over half these degrees are in the “soft” majors (e.g., education, sociology, gender studies) versus the “STEM” (science, technology, engineering, math) majors, although I doubt that the degrees awarded in the “STEM” majors to men is appreciably higher, percentage-wise, than among women.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      Since less than 50% of folks with bachelor’s degrees have that degree in a STEM field, it is a pretty safe bet that these women are also not 50% STEM majors 🙂


      The census has a nice document on distribution of majors for those US folks 25 years and older (so it includes people who were in college years and years ago).


      Broadly, the fields most dominated by women are:
      *) Education
      *) Science and engineering related fields (but not science and engineering)
      *) Psychology
      *) Literature and languages
      *) Visual and performing arts.


      The fields most dominated by men are:
      *) Engineering
      *) Physical and related sciences
      *) Computers, mathematics and statistics
      *) Business
      *) Biology, agriculture and environmental sciences



      Gender studies degrees are fairly rare.


      The department of education has a breakdown of degrees granted by year here:


      Fewer than 9,000 bachelor’s degrees were granted to “area, ethnic, cultural, and gender studies” in 2008-9. In that year, 1.6 million bachelor’s degrees were granted in total.

  2. Midwestern Girl says:

    So called STEM majors are in no way comparable. In my experience, the retention rate is very variable by major. Biology is much more female-friendly than high energy physics for example.

    In my grad school (early 1990’s) women were weeded out through the use of subjective grading. How you are treated depends on the school, department, and if your advisor is currently in political favor.

    In my department a large percentage of the women who got Ph.D’s were from the PRC, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

  3. This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, since women have been kicking the rear ends of men academically for years.

    The typical female high school graduate is at least 1 grade level ahead in math and at least 1.5 grade levels ahead in reading and writing.

    The fact that women now earn approximately 3 of every 5 college degrees shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all, men.

  4. That’s right, Bill. Keep sucking up to your new mistresses.