Yet U.S. Census Data Reveals Gender Pay Gap as Earnings Lag Behind Men with Equal Education

Today is International Women’s Day (March 8), a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. On this day in 1857, women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions.

It’s quite the understatement to say that much has changed over the past 163 years. Take women’s education, for instance.

In 1940 the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data on educational attainment. In that year just 3.8 percent of women nationwide held a bachelor’s degree.

Fast-forward to 2017 (the latest year data is available): 29.5 percent of women 25 years and older held bachelor’s degrees in San Mateo County. That compares with 26.8 percent of males.

In sheer numbers, woman have earned 12,000 more bachelor’s degrees than males in San Mateo County, 82,888 to 70,634.

The numbers are closer for those with graduate or professional degrees. Among men,  21.2 percent, or 55,899, held advanced degrees compared to 19.5 percent of women, or 54,777.

So there’s much to celebrate. But….. Check out the accompanying chart based on Census data:

Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months:

Population 25 years and over with earnings:



Less than high school graduate



High school graduate (including equivalency)



Some college or associate’s degree



Bachelor’s degree



Graduate or professional degree



Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013-17 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates


The Census Matters:

The Census is much more than a head count that occurs every decade. It provides a wealth of information that is critical for us to learn about our nation and our communities.

The 2020 Census is now underway! Learn more and pledge to participate!