By the Numbers: Where Women Stand in America Today

Graduates of Bennet College. (Steven Depolo/Flickr)

March is National Women's History Month, a time to reflect on the many incredible achievements made by American women and to acknowledge the ongoing struggle for gender equality.

Thanks to the tireless efforts and sacrifices of trailblazing women who for centuries have fought to break down gender barriers and challenge injustices, huge strides have been made to close the nation's once gaping gender gap. Yet, as these numbers demonstrate, there is still progress to be made.

The U.S. Census figures below, while admittedly limited, present a brief demographic profile of America's female population today. The numbers highlight some of the areas where important gains in equality have been made and where notable disparities still exist.

162 million

The approximate number of females in the United States as of July 2014, compared to roughly 157 million men.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 population estimates

81

Average life expectancy of a women in the United States as of 2010, as compared to 76.2 years for men.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy, 2010

75.6 million

The number of women 16 and older who participated in the civilian labor force in 2014. Women made up roughly 47 percent of the nation's total civilian labor force.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey, 1-Year estimates

$39,621

The median annual earnings of women 15 and older who worked year-round, full time jobs in 2014. Median annual earnings for men were $50,383.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, income and poverty, 2014

79¢

The amount that year-round, full-time female workers earned in 2014 for every dollar their male counterparts earned.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, income and poverty, 2014

9.9 million

Estimated number of female-owned firms in the United States in 2012, or nearly 36 percent of all U.S. firms. That's an increase of more than 2 million firms since 2007.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 survey of business owners

1.6 million

Women veterans in the United States in 2014.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year estimates

12.7 million

Number of women enrolled in undergraduate college and graduate school in 2014. Women comprised 55.2 percent of all college students (undergraduate and graduate).
Source: American Community Survey, 2014 1-year estimates

30.2

Percentage of women 25 and older who had obtained a bachelor’s degree or more as of 2014, as compared to  29.9 percent of men.
Source: American Community Survey, 2014 1-year estimates

43

Percentage of female citizens 18 and older who reported voting in the November 2014 midterm elections, as compared to 40.8 percent of their male counterparts.
Source: U.S. Census, voting and registration, 2014

43.5 million

Estimated number of mothers age 15 to 50 in the U.S. in 2014.
Source: Current Population Survey, 2014

2.0

Average number of children that women had given birth to as of 2014 (among women age 40 to 44). That's down from 3.1 children 40 years ago.
Source: Current Population Survey, Historical Table 2

67.1 million

Number of married women 18 and older in 2015 (including those who were separated or had an absent spouse).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, families and living arrangements, 2015

5.2 million

Number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2015, as compared to 199,000 stay-at-home fathers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, families and living arrangements, 2015

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