MERIC NEWS LETTER

Women Doctoral Graduates Rank High in Missouri

Women GraduateWomen comprised 47.8 percent of doctoral graduates at Missouri institutions in 2009, higher than the national average of 46.8 percent and almost a percent higher than in 2008. Among border states, Missouri ranked third in having the highest percentage of women doctoral graduates, following Kentucky and Nebraska tied with 50.7 percent each.

In Missouri, the highest number of women doctoral graduates were in the field of Other Non-Science and Engineering Fields (62.3%) followed by Social Science (59.1%), Education (58.9%) and Bioscience (45.4%).

Pie Chart 2009 Women Doctorates by Field

The portion of doctoral graduates that are female in Missouri was higher than the national average in 2008. Although the Physical Science and Engineering fields typically have a smaller portion of female graduates, Missouri exceeds the national average in those fields as well.

Total Percentage of Women Doctorates by Field of Study in 2009
Area Total % of Women Doctorates Biosciences Physical Sciences Social Sciences Engineering Education Humanities Other non-S&E fields
Kentucky 50.7% 65.1% 34.1% 58.9% 20.8% 61.4% 41.2% 41.7%
Nebraska 50.7% 41.1% 35.3% 71.8% 18.5% 70.5% 42.9% 50.0%
Missouri 47.8% 45.4% 39.3% 59.1% 25.3% 58.9% 37.8% 62.3%
Tennessee 47.6% 56.8% 27.8% 60.6% 24.4% 64.5% 35.9% 44.4%
Kansas 47.3% 57.6% 25.0% 53.8% 14.3% 61.6% 56.1% 51.9%
Illinois 47.1% 58.5% 30.5% 55.1% 23.2% 70.4% 50.4% 54.5%
Arkansas 46.6% 46.7% 35.3% 47.8% 34.5% 63.6% D D
Oklahoma 44.4% 40.6% 32.8% 55.6% 24.5% 56.2% 54.1% 50.0%
Iowa 43.8% 43.5% 39.0% 55.7% 23.4% 63.7% 43.9% 51.2%
United States 46.8% 54.5% 29.5% 58.4% 21.3% 66.9% 51.9% 48.5%
D - Suppressed to avoid disclosure of confidential information


In 2009, Missouri had 415 women complete doctorates across all fields, behind only Illinois with 1,093 graduates. Following were Tennessee (398), Iowa (294), Kansas (205), Kentucky (221), Oklahoma (186), and Arkansas (97).

Total of Doctorates Granted in All Fields of Study 2008
Area Male Female Total
Arkansas 111 97 208
Illinois 1,229 1,093 2,322
Iowa 377 294 671
Kansas 228 205 433
Kentucky 215 221 436
Missouri 453 415 868
Oklahoma 233 186 419
Tennessee 439 398 837
Nebraska 150 154 304
United States 26,338 23,190 49,528

Nationally, there has been a growing trend of females obtaining doctoral degrees, increasing from 27.0 percent in 1978 to 46.8 percent in 2009. The year 2009 marked the 14th consecutive year in which the representation of female doctorate recipients had surpassed 40 percent. The proportion of doctorates earned by women has also grown consistently each year within all of the broad fields of study according to the National Science Foundation.

Source: National Science Foundation


 
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