The U.S. Census Bureau reported more women than men are expected to occupy professions such as doctors, lawyers and college professors as they represent approximately 58 percent of young adults, age 25 to 29, who hold an advanced degree. In addition, among all adults 25 and older, more women than men had high school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees.
The tabulations, Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009, showed that among people in the 25-29 age group, 9 percent of women and 6 percent of men held either a master’s, professional (such as law or medical) or doctoral degree. This holds true for white, black and Hispanic women. Among Asian men and women of this age group, there was no statistical difference.
The data also demonstrate the extent to which having such a degree pays off: average earnings in 2008 totaled $83,144 for those with an advanced degree, compared with $58,613 for those with a bachelor’s degree only. People whose highest level of attainment was a high school diploma had average earnings of $31,283.
Also included are data on the highest level of education achieved by a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, household relationship, citizenship, nativity and year of entry. Historical tables provide data on mean earnings by attainment level, sex, race and Hispanic origin with data back to 1975, and tables on attainment levels back to 1940.
Sonia Collazo, a Census Bureau demographer, notes, “The attainment tabulations are the most detailed education-level data available from the Census Bureau. The data allow analysts to precisely track the education levels of the population, from the least to the most educated. In all, 15 levels are shown for detailed age groups by race and Hispanic origin.” (See <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/education/cps2009.html>, Detailed Table 1.)
These data come from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide.
Note: Data from 1960 to 1980 pertain to those with five or more years of college. Data for 2000 and 2009 pertain to those with a master’s, professional or doctoral degree.