Women Surpass Men In College Degrees, Census Says

Apr 27, 2011, 12:43 by John Steele

In a historic announcement, U.S. Census data released today says that American women have surpassed men in total number of college degrees attained by each gender.

According to the Census report, women began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers.

The rise in degrees for women have caused a shift in gender roles, leaving more dads to stay at home and take care of the house. Based on one demographer's estimate, the number of stay-at-home dads who are the primary caregivers for their children reached nearly 2 million last year, or one in 15 fathers.

"The gaps we're seeing in bachelor's and advanced degrees mean that women will be better protected against the next recession," said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

"Men now might be the ones more likely to be staying home, doing the more traditional child rearing," he said.

According to the Associated Press, among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million in the U.S. who earned a master's degree or higher were women, compared to 10.5 million men.