Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Census 2010: Women surpass men in advanced degrees

For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor's degrees, part of the trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids.

According to an Associated Press report, 2010 Census figures highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. Findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers. Men now might be the ones more likely to be staying at home, doing the more traditional child rearing.

In adults 25 and older, 10.6 million U.S. women have master's degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 million men. Also, 10.2 percent of women have advanced degrees compared to 10.9 percent of men, a gap steadily narrowing in recent years. Women still trail men in professions such as business, science, and engineering. When it comes to finishing college, roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor's degrees compared to nearly 18.7 million men.

Census researchers found a connection between women's educational attainment and declines in traditional stay-at-home parenting. For instance, stay-at-home mothers today are more likely to be foreign-born Hispanics who lack college degrees than professional women who set aside careers for full-time family life after giving birth.

And roughly one of every five stay-at-home parents is a father.

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