The Funnest Factoids From The White House Report On Women


There may be no new studies in the just-released White House Report on Women, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from the report, which conveniently culls all relevant government data on women. That includes some breakdowns of things we’ve been hearing about for awhile — women’s education attainment contrasting with the pay gap — and a few little surprises. Some highlights, here.


  • Women earn 75 percent of what men do at all levels of education. Surprise! The earnings of women of color compared to those of all men showed a greater gap than white women: Black women earned 71 percent, Latina women 62 percent in 2009. White and Asian women earned 82 and 95 percent as much as all men. (The near-parity of Asian women’s wages does come as a surprise, at least to me.)
  • This one isn’t a shock either, but it’s interesting to see it broken down: “In 2009, on the days that they worked, employed married women age 25–54 spent less time in labor market work and work- related activities than did employed married men in the same age group-7 hours and 40 minutes, compared to about 8 hours and 50 minutes. However, these employed wives spent about 40 minutes more time than did their male counterparts doing household activities such as cooking, housework, and household management.” There’s that second shift.
  • We’ve heard all the numbers on higher educational attainment for women across the board. According to the report, “Women earned more postsecondary degrees than men within each racial and ethnic group in 2007–2008. This finding is particularly notable for non-Hispanic Black women, who earned more degrees than non-Hispanic Black men across all postsecondary levels.”
  • There’s been a slight reduction in the number of mothers working outside the home. “From 1975 to 2000, the labor force participation rate of mothers with children under age 18 rose from 47 percent to a peak of 73 percent. This rate receded to about 71 percent in 2004, where it has remained through 2009.”

Ladies… And Gentlemen

  • Women are more likely to live alone than men, mostly reflecting the number of women over 65 living alone. “Women who live alone have the lowest median income of any type of household, including households with only a male who lives alone.”
  • The life expectancy gap between men and women is closing.
  • Employed husbands watch more TV than employed wives: 1.8 hours on a workday, compared to 1.4 hours for their wives.
  • Women are more likely to volunteer than men (30 percent, compared to 23 percent.)
  • The median age of marriage has risen at roughly equal rate for both men and women. (But I heardmen were overgrown children who had to be dragged by chicks into growing up!).
  • The average age varies by race or ethnicity: “The typical age of first marriage is 27 for both non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women, and 29 for non-Hispanic White and Hispanic men, compared to age 31 for Black women and men.”


  • The childbearing gap between educated women in their late twenties and women with less than a high school education has widened: “Among women age 25–29 in 2008, only 19 percent of those with less than a high school education had not had a child, compared to 31 percent of high school graduates and 72 percent of those with at least a college degree.”
  • “The likelihood of a woman having her first child at age 30 or older increased roughly six-fold from about 4 percent of all first-time mothers in the 1970s to 24 percent in 2007. Delays in marriage and childbearing are associated with a reduction of about one child per mother by the end of the childbearing years (in 2008, mothers had on average about 2.3 children each).”
  • While more women in their forties are giving birth for the first time, they account for only one percent of first-time mothers.

Body Moving

  • Women are less physically active than men.
  • “Women and girls living below the poverty line are almost three times as likely to report experiencing depression as females living above the poverty line.”
  • “Many women do not receive specific recommended preventative care, and one out of seven women age 18-64 has no usual source of health care. The share of women in that age range without health insurance has also increased.” Time to defund Planned Parenthood!
  • Here’s some good news: Since 1993, women have been less likely to be victims of a violence crime — the rate fell from 43 per 1,000 women in 1993 to 18 per 1,000 in 2008. (For men, it fell from 62 to 22 per 1,000 men.) According to the report, that decline is driven by a “a decline in nonfatal violent victimization of Black women-who have generally been more vulnerable to victimization than White women.”
  • On the other hand, “The imprisonment rate for females quadrupled between 1985 and 2008, from 0.17 per 1,000 females to 0.68 per 1,000 females.”

White House Issues Report On Women In America [NYT]

Women In America [WhiteHouse.Gov, pdf]

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