Women more likely than men to have earned a bachelor's degree by age 29

April 13, 2016

Thirty-four percent of women born in the years 1980–84 had earned a bachelor's degree by age 29, compared with 26 percent of men. Among women and men born in 1980–84, 38 percent had attended some college or earned an associate degree by age 29. Twenty-four percent had earned a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) credential.

 

 

Percent of people born in 1980–84 by their educational attainment at age 29
Characteristic Total High school dropout High school graduate Some college or associate degree Bachelor's degree or higher
Total High school diploma, no college General Education Development (GED) recipient, no college

Total

100 7.7 24.4 17.0 7.4 37.7 30.0

Total men

100 8.5 28.0 19.1 8.9 37.2 25.9

White non-Hispanic men

100 6.9 26.9 19.6 7.3 35.5 30.5

Black non-Hispanic men

100 13.0 35.5 19.2 16.2 38.5 12.2

Hispanic or Latino men

100 12.6 31.3 21.2 10.1 41.8 14.1

Total women

100 6.8 20.6 14.8 5.8 38.2 34.2

White non-Hispanic women

100 6.0 19.8 14.2 5.6 35.1 39.1

Black non-Hispanic women

100 8.5 21.6 15.1 6.5 48.4 21.0

Hispanic or Latino women

100 10.0 26.3 19.6 6.7 43.2 20.1

Within each racial and ethnic group examined, women were more likely than men to have earned a bachelor's degree. Thirty-nine percent of non-Hispanic White women had earned a bachelor’s degree by age 29, compared with 31 percent of non-Hispanic White men. Twenty-one percent of non-Hispanic Black women had earned a bachelor’s degree by age 29, compared with 12 percent of non-Hispanic Black men. Among Hispanics or Latinos, women also were also more likely than men to have earned a bachelor’s degree by age 29 (20 percent versus 14 percent).

Among men at age 29, Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks were nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to have dropped out of high school. Women in each of the racial and ethnic groups were less likely than men to have dropped out of high school.

About 36 percent of non-Hispanic Black men at age 29 were high school graduates who had not attended college. That compares with 31 percent of Hispanic or Latino men and 27 percent of non-Hispanic White men. About one in five Black, Hispanic, and White men had earned a regular high school diploma; Black men were more likely than Hispanic or White men to have earned a GED.

Among 29-year-old women, 26 percent of Hispanics or Latinos were high school graduates who had not attended college. That compares with 22 percent of non-Hispanic Black women and 20 percent of non-Hispanic White women. Women in all three groups were about equally likely to have earned a GED.

These data are from the National Longitudinal Surveys program. For more information, see "Labor Market Activity, Education, and Partner Status among America's Young Adults at 29: Results from a Longitudinal Survey" (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Women more likely than men to have earned a bachelor's degree by age 29 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/women-more-likely-than-men-to-have-earned-a-bachelors-degree-by-age-29.htm (visited April 25, 2017).

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