The Rise of Women

by Nathan Harden

Or is it the decline of men?

Newly released census data show what we have known for a while now — women are outpacing men in the educational arena.

Among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million U.S. women have master’s degrees or higher, compared with 10.5 million men. Measured by shares, about 10.2 percent of women have advanced degrees compared with 10.9 percent of men – a gap steadily narrowing in recent years. Women still trail men in professional subcategories such as business, science and engineering.

When it comes to finishing college, roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor’s degrees, compared with nearly 18.7 million men – a gap of more than 1.4 million that has remained steady in recent years. Women first passed men in bachelor’s degrees in 1996.

Among young people, the gender gap is actually much larger than these numbers indicate (because fewer older women have university degrees). So we can expect this gap to grow much larger as time wears on.