Women’s History Month: US Census Facts
By United States Census Bureau
This is Women’s History Month—a time to recognize the often overlooked vision, courage, and accomplishments of the nation’s women. One example is Clara Barton, who ministered to wounded soldiers in the Civil War and went on to found the American Red Cross. Another is actress Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian immigrant who became a pioneer in technology leading to today’s cell phones.
The roots of National Women’s History Month go back to March 8, 1857, when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. The first Women’s Day Celebration in the United States was also in New York City in 1909, but congress did not establish National Women’s History Week until 1981, to be commemorated annually the second week of March. In 1987, congress expanded the week to a month.
Every year since, congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the president has issued a proclamation.
Profile America Facts for Features consist of collections of statistics from the Census Bureau’s demographic and economic subject areas pertaining to holidays, anniversaries, observances, or topics in the news.
The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to the United States Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places, and economy. Every year, the Census Bureau contacts over 3.5 million households across the country to participate in the American Community Survey, the premier source for population and housing information.
Did You Know?
There were about 1.7 million more females aged 85 and older (4 million) than males (2.3 million) in 2021.
The average age of women giving birth is going up. In 2021, more women ages 30 to 34 had a recent birth than women ages 25 to 29. In 2011, the reverse was true; more women ages 25 to 29 had a recent birth than women ages 30 to 34.
In recent years, women have excelled in educational attainment. Among women ages 25 and older: 25 percent have a high school diploma or equivalency; 10 percent have an associate degree; 22 percent have a bachelor’s degree; and 14 percent have a graduate or professional degree.
The number of women in STEM careers is also on the rise. STEM is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM jobs include computer specialists, mathematicians, and engineers. STEM-related occupations include architects and healthcare workers. In 1970, women made up 8 percent of STEM workers and 38 percent of workers overall. By 2019, women in STEM occupations had more than tripled to 27 percent.
More than half (58 percent) of women ages 16 and older participated in the workforce in 2021. They made up 47 percent of the workforce.
Women are also active in fulfilling civic duties. A higher percentage of women 18 years and over are registered to vote and participate more in the voting process than men. In 2020, 63 percent of women voted, compared to 59.5 percent of men.
Overall, there were 167,509,003 women (about 168 million) living in the United States—or 50.5% of the population—in 2021.
Other Census Information
For more information in dozens of categories, explore the United States Census Bureau's QuickFacts resource, which provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.
Source:United States Census Bureau
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