Women are 60 percent more likely than men to earn a bachelor's degree by the time they are 23, according to data recently released by the http://www.bls.gov/" target="_hplink">Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The data, mined from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth of 1997, shows that by the age of 23, 23 percent of women surveyed earned a bachelor's degree -- compared with only 14 percent of men. And as the same amount of men and women are still working toward a degree, the gender gap will not narrow in the next few years, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Study co-author Jay Meisenheimer told BusinessWeek that the shift can be linked to more professional opportunities for women. "We've seen this great transformation in the workforce away from manufacturing toward more of a service economy," he said. "Now that there are more opportunities for women to work, we're seeing a growing number completing high school and college and going on to graduate and professional programs."
In addition gender gaps, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report (PDF) shows that there are still significant racial gaps in degree attainment. By the age of 23, 22 percent of non-Hispanic whites surveyed reported earning a bachelor's degree, as opposed to only 9 percent of blacks and Hispanics and 8 percent of Hispanics or Latinos.
Some other notable findings:
• 19 percent of respondents earned a bachelor's degree by the age of 23, compared with only 10 percent who had earned their degree by age 22
• At the age of 22, 27 percent of respondents were enrolled at college.
• 47 percent of respondents said they did not enroll in college after graduating from high school
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