Educational attainment and earnings of women

June 03, 2014

The educational attainment of women ages 25 to 64 in the labor force has risen substantially over the past 20 years. In 2012, 38 percent of this group held college degrees, compared with 25 percent in 1992. About 7 percent of women had less than a high school diploma (i.e., did not graduate from high school) in 2012, down from 10 percent in 1992.

Distribution of women in the civilian labor force, 25 to 64 years old, by educational attainment
Number of women 25 to 64 years old in the civilian labor force, by educational attainment
YearPercent distributionAmount (in thousands) (1)
Work force (in thousands)Less than high school diplomaHigh school graduates, no collegeSome college, no degree, or associate's degreeCollege graduatesLess than high school diplomaHigh school graduates, no collegeSome college, no degree, or associate's degreeCollege graduates

1992

46,58910.3037.4027.3025.004,79917,42412,71911,647

2002

54,7108.1030.6029.9031.304,43216,74116,35817,124

2012

59,0316.5025.0030.4038.103,83714,75817,94522,491
Footnotes:

(1) Sums may not add up to totals due to rounding

In 2012, female full-time wage and salary workers ages 25 and older with only a high school diploma had median usual weekly earnings of $561, which represented 80 percent of the earnings of women with an associate’s degree ($697) and 56 percent of the earnings of women with a bachelor’s degree or higher ($1,001).

Median usual weekly earnings of women age 25 and older who were full-time wage and salary workers, 2012 annual averages
Educational attainmentEarnings

Less than a high school diploma

$386

High school graduates, no college

561

Some college or associate's degree

659

College graduates

1,001

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (PDF), Report 1049, May 2014.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Educational attainment and earnings of women on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140603.htm (visited July 30, 2014).

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