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U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Statistics in Honor of Women's History Month

The following is a cross-post by the U.S. Census Bureau

National Women’s History Month traces its roots to March 8, 1857, when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over poor working conditions. The first Women's Day celebration in the United States was in 1909, also in New York City. More than seven decades later, Congress in 1981 established National Women's History Week to be commemorated annually the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month, and every year since has passed a resolution designating March Women’s History Month. And the president has issued a proclamation. See this year's proclamation. 

As we celebrate Women’s History Month 2021, we reflect upon advances women have made over the last decade. Women have increased their earnings and education, fields of occupation and continued to live longer than men. Below are stats from Census Bureau surveys highlighting how women’s employment has changed over the years. We appreciate the public’s cooperation in helping us measure America’s people, places and economy.  

Did You Know?

166.6 million

The number of females in the United States as of July 2019. There were 161.7 million males. In 2010, there were 157 million females and 151.8 million males.

2 to 1

The approximate ratio by which women ages 85 and older outnumbered men in 2019 (4.2 million to 2.4 million) in the United States. In 2010, there were 3.7 million women and 1.8 million men ages 85 and older. 


In 2019, the percentage of women 25 and older who had earned bachelor’s degrees or higher compared with 32.3% of men. In 2010, 28.5% of men 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher while 27.9% of women had completed this level of education.

79.2 million

The number of females ages 16 and older who participated in the civilian labor force in 2019. This comprises 58.6% of females ages 16 and older. In 2010, 74.1 million or 59.1% of females ages 16 and older participated in the civilian labor force. 


The percentage of female full-time, year-round workers over 16 years’ median earnings compared to men in 2019. In 2010, women earned 78.6% of what men made. 

For more key statistics such as the number of women veterans, earnings by women and the percentage of women who earned a degree, please see the latest issue of the U.S. Census Bureau's Facts for Features for Women's History Month: March 2021.  

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