Number of bachelor's degrees earned in the United States from 1949/50 to 2024/25, by gender (in 1,000)

The graph shows the number of degrees earned in higher education from 1949/50 to 2012/13 with forecast to 2024/25. In academic year 2012/13, about 0.79 million male and 1.05 million female students earned a bachelor's degree in the United States.


Bachelor’s degrees in the United States

American students typically earn a bachelor’s degree for an undergraduate course of study and it is normally completed in 4 years. Depending on the major, students receive a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or another type of certificate.

The employment rate of bachelor’s degree holders in the United States in 2009 varies from major to major, but with more than 90 percent of employed bachelor’s degree holders most of the majors, e.g. Health, Education, Agricultural and Natural Resources show a high rate of employment.

Compared to other ethnicities in the United States, Asian-Americans aged 25 and older are the leading population that held bachelor’s degrees in 2010 while Hispanics in the United States were the population group with the lowest rate of bachelor’s degree holders.

The distribution of the average income of bachelor’s degree holders in 2009 shows that there are high differences between the female and male bachelor’s degree holders. Men with a bachelor’s degree earn up to 17,000 U.S. dollar more than women in engineering majors. In addition to that, salaries vary from major to major. Male bachelor’s degree holders in engineering majors earned on average more than male bachelor’s degree holders in art majors.

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YearMaleFemale
2024-25* 840 1,190
2023-24* 830 1,173
2022-23* 821 1,156
2021-22* 814 1,142
2020-21* 805 1,128
2019-20* 795 1,108
2018-19* 785 1,086
2017-18* 779 1,069
2016-17* 775 1,069
2015-16* 788 1,059
2014-15* 789 1,063
2013-14* 794 1,065
2012-13 787.23 1,052.93
2011-12 765.77 1,026.39
2010-11 734.16 981.89
2009-10 706.66 943.26
2008-09 685.42 915.98
2007-08 667.93 895.14
2006-07 649.57 874.52
2005-06 630.6 854.64
2004-05 613 826.26
2003-04 595.43 804.12
2002-03 573.26 775.55
2001-02 549.82 742.08
2000-01 531.84 712.33
1999-00 530.37 707.51
1998-99 519.96 682.28
1997-98 519.96 664.45
1996-97 520.52 652.36
1995-96 522.45 642.34
1994-95 526.13 634
1993-94 532.42 636.85
1992-93 532.88 632.3
1991-92 520.81 615.74
1990-91 504.05 590.49
1989-90 491.7 559.65
1988-89 483.35 535.41
1987-88 477.2 517.63
1986-87 480.78 510.48
1985-86 485.92 501.9
1984-85 482.53 496.95
1983-84 482.32 491.99
1982-83 479.14 490.37
1981-82 473.36 479.63
1980-81 469.88 465.26
1979-80 473.61 455.81
1978-79 477.34 444.05
1977-78 487.35 433.86
1976-77 495.55 424
1975-76 504.93 420.82
1974-75 504.84 418.09
1973-74 527.31 418.46
1972-73 518.19 404.17
1971-72 500.59 386.68
1970-71 475.59 364.14
1969-70 451.1 341.22
1959-60 254.06 138.38
1949-50 328.84 103.22
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