Women 31% More Likely to Receive Bachelor’s Degree Than Men

Women earning bachelor’s degree spend more time in labor force than men who earned the same

College students in a dorm / AP
April 29, 2016

Women are 31 percent more likely to have earned a college degree by the time they turn 29 years of age than men, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The study evaluated the educational attainment and employment experiences of 9,000 young men and women who were born between 1980 and 1984. The bureau found that 34 percent of women had received a bachelor’s degree by the time they were 29, compared to 26 percent of men who did the same.

"Women were more likely than men to have received a bachelor’s degree by age 29," states the report. "In total, 72 percent of women had either attended some college or received a bachelor’s degree, compared with 63 percent of men."

"In addition to being more likely to attend college, women were more likely to have finished their college degree," the report states. "Of the 72 percent of women who started college, 47 percent received a bachelor’s degree by age 29. In comparison, of the 63 percent of men who started college, 41 percent had received a bachelor’s degree."

The report also found that women who had earned bachelor’s degrees spent less time out of the labor force and spent a larger proportion of weeks employed than men.

Women with a bachelor’s degree or higher were employed 79.3 percent of total weeks while they were 18 to 28, compared to men with bachelor’s degrees or higher who were employed 75.3 percent of the time.

Similarly, women with bachelor’s degrees were not in the labor force 17.7 percent of the time, which was lower than men who were not in the labor force 21.5 percent of the time.

"Pursuing and receiving a college degree is one of the best decisions anyone can make for their future," said Secretary of Education John King. "It’s the clearest path to the middle class for many. As a former high school social studies teacher and middle school principal, I know the hard work that is required of students to attend the colleges of their dreams."