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Women’s history: by the numbers

National Women’s History Month’s roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions.

International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week and six years later, Congress expanded the week to a month. In honor of woman everywhere, we offer these numbers from the Census Bureau:

161 million

The number of females in the U.S. as of December 2013. The number of males was just over 156 million.

2 to 1

At 85 and older, the approximate ratio by which women outnumbered men in 2012 (3.9 million to 2 million).

75 million

The number of females 16 and older who participated in the labor force in 2012. Women comprised about 47 percent of the labor force in 2012.


Percent of employed females 16 and over in 2012 who worked in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 34.7 percent of employed males in the same year

1.6 million

Number of women veterans in the United States in 2012.


The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2012. In comparison, the median annual earnings of men were $49,398.

77 cents

The amount that female year-round, full time workers earned in 2012 for every dollar their male counterparts earned. This ratio was statistically unchanged from 2011.

11.3 million

Number of women college students in fall 2012. Women comprised nearly 57 percent of all college students.


Percent of women 25 and older who had obtained a bachelor’s degree or more as of 2013.


Percent of women 18 and older have an alternative educational credential — such as professional certifications, licenses and educational — not statistically different from men. However, women had higher rates of alternative credentials than men at the bachelor’s degree and advanced degree levels.


Among people with advanced degrees, the percentage of women who held educational certificates compared with 12 percent of men; 51 percent of women held professional certifications or licenses compared with 43 percent of men.


Percentage of female citizens 18 and older who reported voting in the 2012 presidential election, in comparison to 59.7 percent of their male counterparts.

85.4 million

Estimated number of mothers in the U.S. in 2009.


Average number of children that women 40 to 44 had given birth to as of 2010, down from 3.1 children in 1976, the year the Census Bureau began collecting such data.

66 million

Number of married women 18 and older in 2013.

5.2 million

Number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2013; compared with 214,000 stay-at-home fathers.