What does this measure?
The share of students enrolled in various levels of education who are female.
Why is this important?
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.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, females made up 66% of students in prekindergarten, 48% of students in kindergarten through 12th grade, 58% of undergraduate college students and 62% of graduate or professional students. The share of females in prekindergarten was up 18 percentage points since 2000, the largest increase of any group. The percentage of women who were graduate or professional students also increased 4 percentage points.
Rates in Essex County were similar to 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. (59%).
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County was 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 (54% and 57%, respectively). Essex also had a higher percentage of women who were undergraduate college students than Westchester (58%), Middlesex (52%) and Lake (50%).
Notes about the data
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. 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.