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Advocacy - Research - Education

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Education Statistics About Women in Engineering in the USA

Compiled by the Society of Women Engineers from NSF and Census Data

Undergraduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex

Graph
Table

Earned Bachelor's Degrees in Engineering by Sex

Graph
Table
Graduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex Graph
Table

Earned Master's Degrees in Engineering by Sex

Graph
Table

Earned Doctoral Degrees in Engineering by Sex

Graph
Table

The information on these pages comes from these sources:

  1. National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators - 1998.

  2. National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators - 2000.

  3. National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators - 2002.

  4. Statistical Abstract of the United States - 1995,1996,1997,1998,1999,2000.

Other good sources of information are:

  1. National Science Foundation, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering:1998.
  2. National Science Foundation, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering:2000.
  3. National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources and Statistics; data from Department of Education/National Center for Education Statistics: Integrated Post Secondary Education Data Completions Survey.

The data contained in these documents is free to the public. These publications are available as .pdf files at

http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/stats.htm

http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statistical-abstract-us.html

Please be aware that the NSF summary data include a broad definition of Science that includes the Social Sciences, such as Political Science and Psychology.

The SESTAT Data Base (NSF's Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System) located at https://sestat.nsf.gov/sestat/sestat.html allows you to query the data. To learn more about the SESTAT Data Base please read: SESTAT: A Tool for Studying Scientists and Engineers in the United States at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf99337/.

There are many published research articles about the engineering education of women. A good source for this research is ERIC, the world's largest source of education information. The ERIC website is located at http://www.eduref.org. It has over 1,000 abstracts of documents and journal articles referencing women and engineering education research and practice from 1966 through 2001.                                      

The American Association of Engineering Societies: Engineering Workforce Commission conducts several engineering surveys and has several publications. Publications can be purchased via their website: http://www.aaes.org/.

Tables 

Undergraduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex

Year

Male

Female

% Female

1979 321,868
44,431 12.1%
1981 361,133
59,269 14.1%
1983 372,374
68,831 15.6%
1984 362,800
66,699
15.5%
1985 354,612
66,252 15.7%
1986  344,999
62,658 15.4%
1987  331,917
60,281 15.4%
1988  325,024
60,388 15.7%
1989
318,067
60,210 15.9%
1990  319,506
60,781 16.0%
1991  316,719
63,258 16.6%
1992  316,460
66,065 17.3%
1993 309,412
66,532 17.7%
1994  300,412
66,065
18.1%
1995  296,029
67,286
18.5%
1996  288,559
67,618
19.0%
1997 294,593
70,765
19.4%
1998  294,598
72,393
19.7%
1999 290,019
71,376
19.8%
2000
314,776
76,027
19.5%
2001
331,089
78,468
19.2%
2002
343,226
77,952
18.5%
2003
345,857
75,934
18.0%
2004
345,248
74,139
17.7%
2005
338,747
70,579
17.2%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-33. National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 1998 (Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies, 1999))

Source: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Table B-9. National Science Foundation. (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 2005 (Washington, DC, 2006))

Earned Bachelors Degrees in Engineering by Sex

Year

Male

Female

% Female

1966 35,680 146 .4%
1971 44,887 361 .8%
1975 38,979 845 2.1%
1976 39,473 1,317 3.2%
1977 39,313 2,044
4.9%
1979 48,588 4,881 9.1%
1981  56,654 7,063 11.1%
1983 63,018 9,652 13.3%
1984 65,424 10,729 14.1%
1985 66,326 11,246 14.5%
1986 65,682 11,138
14.5%
1987  63,021 11,404
15.3%
1988  59,375 10,779
15.4%
1989 56,759 10,188
15.2%
1990  54,732 9,973
15.4%
1991 52,522 9,665
15.5%
1992  52,305 9,636
15.6%
1993 52,724 9,981
15.9%
1994 52,609 10,403
16.5%
1995 52,421 10,950
17.3%
1996 51,798 11,316
17.9%
1997 50,882 11,470
18.4%
1998 49,575 11,339
18.6%
2000
47,320 12,216
20.5%
2001
47,344
11,914
20.1%
2002
47,952
12,687
20.9%
2003
50,803
12,970
20.3%
2004
51,418
13,257
20.5%
2005
52,936
13,197
20.0%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-33. National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 1998 (Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies, 1999))

Source: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Table C-4. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey, 1996-2005

Graduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex 

Year    

Male

Female

% Female

1977 64,985
3,700
5.4%
1979  65,852 5,876
8.2%
1981
71,809
7,746 9.7%
1983
81,312
9,807
10.8%
1985
94,911 11,080
10.5%
1987
90,990
12,963 12.5%
1988
89,705 13,124 12.8%
1989
90,443 13,600 13.1%
1990
92,953 14,672 13.6%
1991
97,861
15,715 13.8%
1992
100,802 17,233 14.6%
1993
99,189 17,692 15.1%
1994
95,006 18,054 16.0%
1995
89,377 18,152 16.9%
1996
84,971 18,252 17.7%
1997
82,293 18,715 18.5%
1998
81,050
18,988
19.0%
1999
81,804
19,887
19.6%
2000
83,366
20,746
19.9%
2001
87,236
22,257
20.3%
2002
94,701
24,967
20.9%
2003
99,790
27,587
21.7%
2004
96,294
27,272
22.1%
2005
93,595
26,878
22.3%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-21; National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: National Science Foundation, Science Resources Studies Division, Graduate Students and Post doctorates in Science and Engineering, Fall 1997, NSF 99-325, Project Officer, Joan Burrelli (Arlington, VA:1999); and previous years of this publication)

Source (for years 1998-2005): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Tables D-2 and D-3. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resource Statistics, Survey of Graduate Students and Post Doctorates in Science and Engineering, 1998-2005

Earned Masters Degrees in Engineering by Sex

Year

Male

Female

% Female

1975
14,795 372 2.5%
1977
15,314 698 4.4%
1979
14,342 937 6.1%
1981
15,122 1,329 8.1%
1983
17,131 1,755 9.3%
1984
18,045 2,100 10.4%
1985
18,728 2,244 10.7%
1986
18,696 2,400 11.4%
1987
19,300 2,770 12.6%
1988
19,918 2,808 12.4%
1989 20,661 3,082 13.0%
1990
20,726 3,269 13.6%
1991
20,656 3,357 14.0%
1992
21,349 3,699 14.8%
1993
23,570 4,094 14.8%
1994
24,294 4,423 15.4%
1995
23,998 4,632 16.2%
1996
23,009 4,752 17.1%
1997
21,179 4,695 18.1%
1998
20,975 5,163 19.8%
1999
n/a n/a
n/a
2000
20,396
5,340
20.4%
2001
20,895
5,628
21.2%
2002
20,692
5,574
21.2%
2003
23,520
6,184
20.8%
2004
26,737
7,135
21.1%
2005
26,492
7,607
22.3%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-33. National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 1998 (Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies, 1999))

Source (for years 2000-2005): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Tables E-2 and E-6. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey, 1996-2005

Earned Doctoral Degrees in Engineering by Sex

Year

Male

Female

% Female

1975
2,959 52 1.7%
1977
2,574 74 2.8%
1979
2,432 62 2.5%
1981
2,429 99 3.9%
1983
2,657 124 4.4%
1984
2,762 151 5.2%
1985
2,968 198 6.3%
1986
3,151 225 6.7%
1987
3,470 242 6.5%
1988
3,901 286 6.8%
1989 4,168 375 8.3%
1990
4,479 415 8.5%
1991
4,748 467 9.0%
1992
4,932 506 9.3%
1993
5,176 522 9.2%
1994
5,187 635 10.9%
1995
5,313 694 11.6%
1996
5,529 776 12.3%
1997
5,305 747 12.3%
1998
5,115 812  13.7%
1999
4,499 829  15.6%
2000
4,463 867  16.3%
2001
4,568
930
16.9%
2002
4,172
891
17.6%
2003
4,368
911
17.3%
2004
4,754
1,021
17.7%
2005
5,215
1,174
18.4%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-33. National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 1998 (Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies, 1999))

Source (for years 2001-2005): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Table F-3. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates, 1998-2005

 

 

 

 

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