For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor's degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids.
Census figures released Tuesday highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers.
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.
Some researchers, including Perry, have dubbed the current economic slump a "man-cession" because of the huge job losses in the male-dominated construction and manufacturing industries, which require less schooling. Measured by pay, women with full-time jobs now make 78.2 percent of what men earn, up from about 64 percent in 2000.
Unemployment for men currently stands at 9.3 percent compared with 8.3 percent for women, who now make up half of the U.S. work force. The number of stay-at-home moms, meanwhile, dropped last year for a fourth year in a row to 5 million, or roughly one in four married-couple households. That's down from nearly half of such households in 1969.
The census numbers come from the government's Current Population Survey as of March 2010. Among other findings [...] Among adults 25 and older, women are more likely than men to have finished high school, 87.6 percent to 86.6 percent. - Source
Women now fill a majority of jobs in the U.S., including 51.4 percent of managerial and professional positions, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Some 23 percent of wives now out-earn their husbands, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center. And this earnings trend is more dramatic among younger people. Women 30 and under make more money, on average, than their male counterparts in all but three of the largest cities in the U.S. - Source