Today's young women are more likely than young men to have a bachelor's degree, according to the latest results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. This survey tracks a nationally representative sample of men and women born from 1980 through 1984, first interviewing them in 1997. The latest report (the 16th time the sample has been interviewed) examines their educational attainment, labor force experience, and partner status.
By their 29th birthday, 34 percent of women in the sample had a bachelor's degree. Among men, the figure was 26 percent. The reasons for the higher educational attainment of young women are twofold: women are more likely to go to college, and once in college they are more likely to finish their degree.
Women: 72 percent of women in the NLSY 1997 sample had either attended some college or earned a bachelor's degree. Among those who started college, 47 percent had earned a bachelor's degree by their 29th birthday.
Men: a smaller 63 percent of men in the NLSY 1997 sample had either attended some college or earned a bachelor's degree. Among those who started college, only 41 percent had earned a bachelor's degree by their 29th birthday.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Market Activity, Education, and Partner Status among Young Adults at 29: Results from a Longitudinal Survey