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August 26 2019

10 Amazing Stats about Women’s Progress on Women’s Equality Day

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Today is Women’s Equality Day commemorating the day that women were granted the right to vote.

The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, after nearly a century of fighting. Congress designated this day as a time to remember that milestone and celebrate the contributions of women.

Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and IWF has begun to celebrate with a monthly profile of the suffragettes behind the push for the women’s vote. Read about the first suffragette in our series: Celebrating 100 years of the Women's Vote: Susan B. Anthony.

I have no doubt that Susan B. Anthony and the army of women who fought for our right to vote would be amazed at the progress women have made over the past century.

Look at these 10 amazing stats about women’s progress in politics, education, and the workforce:

  1. Women outvote men. In 2018, 55 percent of women voted compared to 51.8 percent of men. 

  2. Young women outvote young men. In each election from 1980 to 2014, young women voted more than young men in both the 18-24 and 25-29 age brackets. Sometimes the voting gap was less than 1 percent point and, other years, the gap was nearly 10 percentage points.

  3. More women are registered to vote than men. 81 million women (63 percent) were registered to vote compared to 72 million men (60 percent).

  4. Women outnumber men in one state legislature. In Nevada, 52.4 percent of legislative seats are held by women.

  5. Female state legislators have more than quintupled over the past four decades. In 1971, just 344 women served in state legislatures, but today that number is 2,131 women.

  6. Female high school grads outnumber male high school grads. Although a strong majority of Americans have a high school diploma (88 percent), more women have at least a high school diploma than men (88.6 percent v. 87.3 percent).

  7. More women hold bachelor’s degrees than men. 32.6 percent of women have a bachelor’s degree compared to 31.3 percent of men.

  8. 358 women have served in U.S. Congress to date. This is quite an increase from 1916 when the first woman was elected to Congress, Republican Representative from Montana Jeannette Rankin.

  9. Women outnumber men in a number of key industries. In education, legal, community services, arts, and media occupations women outnumber men holding anywhere from 51 percent to 71 percent of those jobs. 

  10. Women are closing the gap on labor force participation. From 1948 to today, the gap between men and women’s participation in the labor force has fallen from 53.5 percentage points in 1948 to 12 percentage points in 2018.

Despite the progress made, there is more opportunity for women to advance in politics and the labor force.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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