December 28, 2011 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Educational attainment of women in the labor force, 1970–2010

Percent distribution of women in the civilian labor force, aged 25 to 64 years, by educational attainment, 1970–2010
Year Educational attainment
Less than a
high school diploma
High school
graduates, no college
Some college,
no degree, or
associate’s degree


33.5 44.3 10.9 11.2


18.4 45.4 17.4 18.7


11.3 42.4 21.9 24.5


8.5 31.6 29.8 30.1


6.8 26.4 30.3 36.4

Due to rounding, the sum of percent distributions may not equal 100. Data for 1970, 1980, and 1990 are for March of each year and the educational attainment categories are based on the number of years of school completed (i.e. less than 4 years of high school, 4 years of high school and no college, 1 to 3 years of college, and 4 years or more of college). Data for 2000 and 2010 are annual averages and refer to the highest diploma or degree received.

These data are featured in the TED article, Educational attainment of women in the labor force, 1970–2010.




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