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Ministry of the Status of Women


Statistics: Women and Education

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Women make up a greater share of university degree holders...

  • Women account for more than 53% of university degree holders aged 25 to 64 (2011).1

Yet, women still represent a minority of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree holders…

  • Women account for over 32% of those aged 25 to 64 with a university STEM degree.2

Instead, women dominate non-STEM fields of education…

  • Women make up 60% of adults aged 25 to 64 with a non-STEM university degree (2011).3

Young women make up a majority of those with university degrees in their age group…

  • Among young adults (aged 25 to 34) with a university degree, 59% are women (2011).4

This is true for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as medical degrees…

  • Among young adults with a bachelor’s degree, 59% are women (2011).5
  • Among young adults with a master’s degree, 58% are women (2011).6
  • Among young adults with a medical degree, 62% are women (2011).7

Yet this is not the case with doctorate holders or STEM degree holders…

  • Among young adults with an earned doctorate, 47% are women (2011).8
  • Among young adults with university STEM degrees, 39% are women (2011).9

Instead, young women dominate non-STEM fields…

  • Among young adults with a non-STEM university degree, more than 65% are women (2011).10

Older women make up less than half of degree holders in their age group…

  • 47% of older adults (aged 55 to 64) with a university degree are women (2011).11

For older women, this underrepresentation is true at all degree levels…

  • Among older adults with a bachelor’s degree, 49% are women (2011).12
  • Among older adults with a master’s degree, 45% are women (2011).13
  • Among older adults with an earned doctorate, 31% are women (2011).14

Older women also hold a minority of medical and STEM university degrees in their age group…

  • Among older adults with medical degrees, only 28% are women (2011).15
  • Among older adults with STEM university degrees, only 22% are women (2011).16

Instead, older women dominate non-STEM fields…

  • Among older adults with a non-STEM university degree, 53% are women (2011).17

Younger Aboriginal women are more likely to have a post-secondary education than older Aboriginal women…

  • More than 13% of younger Aboriginal women (aged 35 to 44) have a university degree, versus 10% of older Aboriginal women (aged 55 to 64) (2011).18
  • 27% of younger Aboriginal women have a college diploma, in comparison to 21% of older Aboriginal women (2011).19

Aboriginal women are more likely to have a post-secondary education than Aboriginal men…

  • More than 7% of younger Aboriginal men (aged 35 to 44) as well as older Aboriginal men (aged 55 to 64) have a university education (2011).20
  • 18% of younger Aboriginal men and 14% of older Aboriginal men have college diplomas (2011).21

The likelihood of women being employed increases substantially with the level of educational attainment…

  • More than 73% of women in Ontario with university degrees are employed, in comparison to over 51% of women with high school diplomas (2012).22

Average annual earnings for both women and men rise with their level of education. However, for women the education premium is greater than for men…

  • Women working full-year, full-time with less than a grade nine education earn an average of $20,800, less than 35% of the $62,800 that women with a university degree earn (2008).23

1Statistics Canada. (2013). Education in Canada: Attainment, Field of Study and Location of Study. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

2Statistics Canada. (2013). Education in Canada: Attainment, Field of Study and Location of Study. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 14

3Statistics Canada. (2013). Education in Canada: Attainment, Field of Study and Location of Study. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 14.

4Statistics Canada. (2013). Education in Canada: Attainment, Field of Study and Location of Study. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

5Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

6Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

7Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

8Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

9Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 14.

10Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 14.

11Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

12Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

13Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

14Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

15Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

16Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 14.

17Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 14.

18Statistics Canada. (2013). The educational attainment of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 5.

19Statistics Canada. (2013). The educational attainment of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 5.

20Statistics Canada. (2013). The educational attainment of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 5.

21Statistics Canada. (2013). The educational attainment of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. National Household Survey, 2011. Minister of Industry. Pg. 5.

22Statistics Canada. (2013). Table 282-0004 Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by educational attainment, sex and age group, annual (persons unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database). Retrieved on October 21, 2013. Retrieved from http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=2820004&paSer=&pattern=&stByVal=1&p1=1&p2=37&tabMode=dataTable&csid.

23Statistics Canada. (2010). Economic Well-being. Ottawa: Minister of Industry. Pg. 15.