Women's History Month

February 22, 2021

10 Facts About Women in America Today

What the data says about women as earners, learners, believers, and more

With Women’s History Month, March brings another opportunity to reflect on the contributions and status of women in America today. These 10 facts offer a snapshot of life for women, based on data from the Pew Research Center, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Department of Defense.

1) Most American women — 59% — say religion is very important in their lives.

In comparison, 47% of American men say the same. Learn more.

2) 69% of American women identify as Christian, as of 2019 — compared to 61% of American men. 

This is a drop from 2009, when 80% of women and 73% of men in the U.S. identified as Christian. Learn more.

3) 22% of American women who were working in October 2019 were laid off between March and July 2020.

In comparison, 18% of working men were laid off during this same period. Learn more.

4) In 2020, American women who worked full time, year-round made 84 cents for every $1 an American man earned.

And when just looking at workers with a bachelor's degree or higher, women are making 76% of what their male colleagues make. Learn more here and here.

5) 12% of American women lived in poverty in 2019 — compared to 9% of American men.

Learn more.

6) Of all the bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2019, 57% went to women.

1982 was the first year in which women earned more than half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded. Learn more.

7) 37% of the country’s full-time physicians and surgeons in 2019 were women.

Yet women made up 78% of the entire health care workforce in 2019, dominating in fields such as nursing, home health, dental assistance, speech pathology, and occupational therapy. Learn more here and here.

8) Women accounted for 27% of all STEM workers in 2019, up from 8% in 1970. 

Learn more.

9) Women accounted for 16.9% of active-duty military personnel in FY 2018 — up from 9% in 1980. 

Learn more.

10) 27% of seats in the U.S. Congress are held by women as of 2021 — a record high. 

As of January 2021, there were 120 women in the House, including both voting and nonvoting members, and 24 women in the Senate. Learn more.

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