March 2012: Women's History Month
Women’s History Month recognizes the contributions women have made to the United States. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau highlight the changes in women’s roles over time. For example, comparing 1940 Census data to current statistics reveals that:
- Women have achieved more education. The 1940 Census found that 73 percent of women 25 years and older had less than a high school education. In 2010, approximately 14 percent had not completed high school.
- Women are found in more occupations. In 1940, 24 percent of the labor force was female. Women accounted for 89 percent of all librarians and 2 percent of all architects and lawyers. In 2010, women made up 47 percent of the labor force accounting for 83 percent of librarians, 24 percent of architects, and 32 percent of lawyers.
- Both women and men are living longer. Life expectancy in 1940 was 61 and 65 years for men and women, respectively. Today [PDF 78 KB] life expectancy is 76 years for men and 81 years for women.