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March is Women’s History Month

Women First Elected Rita Sue Sam Others

The beginnings of National Women’s History Month go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions.

International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, and, in 1981 Congress established National Women’s History Week to be observed the second week of March.

In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Each year since then, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the president has issued a proclamation.

Here are some facts and figures from the U.S. Census Bureau about women:

162 million

The number of females in the U.S. as of July 2014. The number of males was 157 million.

2 to 1

At 85 and older, the ratio by which women outnumbered men in 2014, 4.1 million to 2.1 million.


75.6 million

The number of females 16 and older who participated in the civilian labor force in 2014. Women comprised 47.4 percent of the civilian labor force in 2014.


Percentage of social scientists who were women, the heaviest representation of women among all STEM science, technology, engineering and math fields. Among other STEM fields, about 14 percent of engineers, 45 percent of mathematicians and statisticians, and 47 percent of life scientists were women.

Women’s Representation
In Select Occupations


Registered nurses 97.3% 91.2%
Dental assistants 97.9% 96.3%
Cashiers 84.2% 74.7%
Elementary and middle school teachers 83.9% 79.3%
Pharmacists 12.1% 52.6%
Accountants 24.6% 60.0%
Computer programmers 24.2% 24.4%
Physicians and surgeons   9.7% 32.4%
Lawyers and judges   4.9% 33.4%
Police officers   3.7% 14.8%
Civil engineers   1.3% 12.7%

Percentage of employed women 16 and over in 2014 who worked in management, business, and financial occupations, compared with 15.6 percent of employed men in the same year.


1.6 million

Number of women veterans in the United States in 2014.



Percentage points of increase — from 6 to 9 percent — where the wife in married couples earned at least $30,000 more than the husband between 2000 and 2015.
Source: 2014 Families and Living Arrangements table package


The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2014. In comparison, the median annual earnings of men were $50,383.


The amount that female year-round, full-time workers earned in 2014 for every dollar their male counterparts earned.


12.7 million

Number of women enrolled in undergraduate college and graduate school in 2014. Women comprised 55.2 percent of all college students, undergraduate and graduate.


Percentage of women 25 and older who had obtained a bachelor’s degree or more as of 2014. The percentage of men 25 and older who had obtained a bachelor's degree or more as of 2014 was 29.9 percent.


$1.4 trillion

Estimated receipts from women-owned firms in the U.S. in 2012, rising 18.7 percent, from $1.2 trillion in 2007.

9.9 million

Estimated number of women-owned firms in the U.S. 2012, up from 7.8 million or 26.8 percent in 2007.

Estimated percent of U.S. firms that were owned by women in 2012. They constituted the majority of firms in the health care and social assistance sector, 62.5 percent; the educational services sector, 54.2 percent; and the “other services” sector, 51.8 percent. For comparison, women accounted for 51.4 percent of the 18-and-older population in the U.S. in 2012.



Percentage of female citizens 18 and older who reported voting in the 2014 election. By comparison, 40.8 percent of their male counterparts reported voting


43.5 million

Estimated number of mothers age 15 to 50 in the U.S. in 2014.


Average number of children that women age 40 to 44 had given birth to as of 2014, down from 3.1 children in 1976, the year the Census Bureau first began collecting such data. The percentage of women in this age group who had ever given birth was 85 percent in 2014, down from 90 percent in 1976.


67.1 million

Number of married women 18 and older — including those who were separated or had an absent spouse — in 2015.

5.2 million

Number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2015, compared with 199,000 stay-at-home fathers.


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