The share of students enrolled in various levels of education who are female.
Education is increasingly critical to a productive life. Not only do earnings generally rise with increased education levels, but a solid education prepares one to be an informed citizen, consumer and community member. Disparities in enrollment between the genders can mean unequal levels of opportunities for success as adults.
In 2013-17, females made up 64% of students in prekindergarten, 49% of students in kindergarten through 12th grade, 58% of undergraduate college students and 63% of graduate or professional students. The share of girls in prekindergarten was up 15 percentage points since 2000, the largest increase of any group. The percentage of women who were graduate or professional students also increased 5 percentage points.
There were generally similar disparities at the state and national levels, although women in Essex County represented a larger share of graduate or professional students compared to Massachusetts (57%) or the U.S. (58%).
Essex County was mostly similar to the comparison counties of Middlesex, MA, Lake, IL and Westchester, NY. Middlesex and Lake had smaller shares of students in graduate or professional school who were female (52% and 56%, respectively). Essex also had a higher percentage of women who were undergraduate college students than Middlesex (53%) and Lake (51%), and was also slightly higher than Westchester (55%).
The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval).
The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.