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Degrees conferred by race and sex

Question:
What is the percentage of degrees conferred by race and sex?

Response:

Between academic years 200203 and 201213, the total number of postsecondary degrees conferred increased at all degree levels: certificates by 49 percent (from 646,000 to 966,000), associate's degrees by 59 percent (from 634,000 to 1.0 million), bachelor's degrees by 36 percent (from 1.3 million to 1.8 million), master's degrees by 45 percent (from 519,000 to 752,000), and doctor's degrees by 44 percent (from 122,000 to 175,000). Reflecting the overall increase in the number of postsecondary degrees conferred at each level, the number of postsecondary degrees conferred also increased for all racial/ethnic groups at each level between 200203 and 201213.

The number of postsecondary certificates below the baccalaureate level conferred to Hispanic students almost doubled (a 95 percent increase, from 95,500 to 186,000) between academic years 200203 and 201213. During this period, the number of certificates conferred increased by 47 percent for Black students (from 121,000 to 177,000), by 37 percent for White students (from 382,000 to 523,000), by 34 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 33,000 to 44,400), and by 33 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 8,100 to 10,800). As a result of these changes, the share of all certificates conferred to Hispanics increased from 15 percent in 200203 to 19 percent in 201213. In contrast, the share of certificates earned by White students decreased from 60 percent to 55 percent during this period. In both 200203 and 201213, the shares of certificates earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students were 5 percent. The shares of certificates earned by Black students were 19 percent in 200203 and 18 percent in 201213. The shares of certificates earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students were 1 percent in both 200203 and 201213.

At the associate's degree level, the number of degrees conferred to Hispanic students more than doubled between academic years 200203 and 201213 (a 137 percent increase, from 66,700 to 158,000) and the number of degrees earned by Black students increased 80 percent (from 75,600 to 136,000). During this period, the number of associate's degrees conferred increased by 52 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 32,600 to 49,500), increased by 41 percent for both White students (from 438,000 to 617,000) and American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 7,500 to 10,500). As a result of the changes over this period, the share of all associate's degrees conferred to Hispanic students increased from 11 to 16 percent, and the share earned by Black students increased from 12 to 14 percent. In contrast, the share of associate's degrees earned by White students over the same period decreased from 71 to 62 percent. In both 200203 and 201213, the shares of associate's degrees earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students were 1 percent. The share of associate's degrees earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students remained at 5 percent over this period.

At the bachelor's degree level, the number of degrees conferred to Hispanic students more than doubled between academic years 200203 and 201213 (a 110 percent increase, from 89,000 to 187,000), and the number conferred to Black students increased by 54 percent (from 124,000 to 191,000). During the same period, the number of degrees conferred increased by 48 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 88,000 to 130,000), increased by 23 percent for White students (from 995,000 to 1.2 million), and increased by 16 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 9,900 to 11,400). As a result of the changes over this period, the share of all bachelor's degrees conferred to U.S. residents earned by Hispanic students increased from 7 to 11 percent, and the share earned by Black students increased from 10 to 11 percent. In contrast, the share of bachelor's degrees earned by White students decreased from 76 percent in 200203 to 69 percent in 201213. In 201213, the share of bachelor's degrees earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students was 7 percent, and the share earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students was 1 percent; in each case, the percentage change from 200203 was less than 1 percent.

Across racial/ethnic groups, larger shares of undergraduate degrees and certificates were conferred to female students than to male students in academic year 201213. For example, the shares of bachelor's degrees earned by female students were 65 percent for Black students, 60 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic students, 59 percent for students of Two or more races, 56 percent for both Pacific Islander and White students, and 54 percent for Asian students.


Percentage distribution of associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex: 201213

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE:Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2016 (NCES 2016-007), Degrees Awarded.

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