Class of 2013: Women, Hispanics Driving Diversity Growth


Overall, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) expects the Class of 2013 to total 1,744,000 bachelor’s degree graduates. Women will account for approximately 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees. This continues a trend that started in the early 1980s, the last time men earned more bachelor’s degrees than women.

In addition to the gains women are making, most racial/ethnic groups are gaining ground. Hispanic graduates, in particular, are responsible for much of that growth.

Overall, racial/ethnic minorities account for approximately 29 percent of bachelor’s degrees. That’s up from around 25 percent at the end of the 1990s. (See Figure 1.)  

Just as females account for a larger portion of degrees conferred, so too are females driving much of the gains in diversity. For example, the most current data show that African-American females account for 6.5 percent of degrees; their male counterparts, just 3.4 percent. Meanwhile, Hispanic females earned 5.2 percent of bachelor’s degrees, compared to 3.3 percent earned by male Hispanics.

Figure 1: Degrees Conferred by Racial/Ethnic Group, 2009-10 versus 1999-00

graph

Source: 2011 Digest of Education Statistics, Table 300. National Center for Education Statistics. Data are for bachelor’s degree graduates.

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