Release by the U.S. Census


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 during the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the president has issued a proclamation.

152 million
The number of females in the United States as of Nov. 1, 2006. That exceeds the number of males (148 million). <>

As of July 1, 2005, males outnumbered females in every five-year age group through the 35 to 39 age group. Starting with the 40 to 44 age group, women outnumbered men. At 85 and over, there were more than twice as many women as men. <>


82.5 million
Estimated number of mothers of all ages in the United States. (From unpublished data.)

Average number of children that women 40 to 44 had given birth to as of 2004, down from 3.1 children in 1976, the year the Census Bureau began collecting such data. Likewise, the percentage of women in this age group who were mothers was 81 percent in 2004, down from 90 percent in 1976. <>


The median annual earnings of women 16 or older who worked year-round, full time, in 2005. Women earned 77 cents for every $1 earned by men. (Source: American Community Survey at <>)

91 cents
The amount women in the District of Columbia, who worked year-round, full time, earned for every $1 their male counterparts earned in 2005. Among all states or state equivalents, the district was where women were closest to earnings parity with men. Maryland and Connecticut were the only states where median earnings for women were above $40,000, as was the District of Columbia. (Source: American Community Survey at <>)

Median earnings of women working in computer and mathematical jobs, the highest for women among the 22 major occupational groups. Among these groups, community and social services was the only group where women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s earnings were higher than 90 percent. (Source: American Community Survey at <>)


Percent of women 25 to 29 who had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2005, which exceeded that of men in this age range (25 percent). Eighty-seven percent of women and 85 percent of men in this same age range had completed high school. <>

Percent of women 25 or older who had completed high school as of 2005. High school graduation rates for women continued to exceed those of men (84.9 percent). <>

26.1 million
Number of women 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or more education in 2005, more than double the number 20 years earlier. <>

Percent of women 25 or older who had obtained a bachelor’s degree as of 2005. This rate was up 10.5 percentage points from 20 years earlier. <>

The projected number of bachelor’s degrees that will be awarded to women in the 2006-07 school year. Women also are projected to earn 369,000 master’s degrees during this period. Women would, therefore, earn 58 percent of the bachelor’s and 61 percent of the master’s degrees awarded during this school year. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Projections of Education Statistics to 2015, at <>)


More than $939 billion
Revenue for women-owned businesses in 2002, up 15 percent from 1997. There were 116,985 women-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more.

Nearly 6.5 million
The number of women-owned businesses in 2002, up 20 percent from 1997. (The increase was twice the national average for all businesses.) Women owned 28 percent of all non-farm businesses.

More than 7.1 million
Number of people employed by women-owned businesses. There were 7,231 women-owned firms with 100 or more employees, generating $274 billion in gross receipts.

• Nearly one in three women-owned firms operated in health care and social assistance, and other services such as personal services, and repair and maintenance. Women owned 72 percent of social assistance businesses and just over half of nursing and residential care facilities. Wholesale and retail trade accounted for 38.2 percent of women-owned business revenue.

Rate of growth in the number of women-owned firms in Nevada between 1997 and 2002, which led the nation. Georgia (35 percent), Florida (29 percent) and New York (28 percent) followed.

Source for the statements in this section:


Percentage of women citizens who reported voting in the 2004 presidential election, higher than the 62 percent of their male counterparts who cast a ballot. <>


Percent of women 16 or older who participated in the labor force in 2005. This amounted to 69.3 million women. More than 35 million women in 2005 had worked year-round, full time, in the past 12 months. Men in this age range had a participation rate of 73 percent. (Sources: <> and 2005 American Community Survey via American FactFinder.)

Percent of women 16 or older who work in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 31 percent of men. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey via American FactFinder)

21.1 million
Number of female workers in educational services, health care and social assistance industries. More women work in this industry group than in any other. Within this industry group, 10.7 million work in the health care industry and 8 million in educational services. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey via American FactFinder)


Total number of active duty women in the military, as of Sept. 30, 2005. Of that total, 35,000 women were officers, and 168,000 were enlisted.
(Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 500.)

Proportion of members of the armed forces who were women, as of Sept. 30, 2005. In 1950, women comprised less than 2 percent.
(Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 500.)

1.7 million
The number of military veterans who are women.
(Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 508.)


63 million
Number of married women (including those who are separated or have an absent spouse) in 2005. There are 55 million unmarried (widowed, divorced or never married) women. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey via American FactFinder)

Percentage of married couples in which the wife earns at least $5,000 more than the husband in 2005. Among 22 percent of married couples, the wife has more education than the husband. <>

5.6 million
Number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2005, up from 4.4 million a decade earlier. <>


Proportion of women who used a computer at home in 2003, 2 percentage points higher than the corresponding proportion for men. This reverses the computer use “gender gap” exhibited during the 1980s and 1990s. <>

Sports and Recreation

2.9 million
Number of girls who participated in high school athletic programs in the 2004-05 school year. In the 1973-74 school year, only 1.3 million girls were members of a high school athletic team. (Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 1232.)

Number of women who participated in an NCAA sport in 2004-05.
(Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 1234.)

Among those who purchased aerobic shoes in 2004, the proportion who were women. Women also comprised a majority (64 percent) of those who bought walking shoes.
(Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 1237.)

Percentage of women who participated in gardening at least once in the past 12 months, compared with 37 percent of men. Women were also much more likely than men to have done charity work (32 percent versus 26 percent), attended arts and crafts fairs (39 percent versus 27 percent) and read literature (55 percent versus 38 percent).
(Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Tables 1221, 1222 and 1223.)