Statistics on minority women in science

I found some statistics from the NSF on the percentages of minority women in science and engineering, broken down by field.  I have created the graphs presented below with the intent of showing how, among women in science, minority women are underrepresented at the bachelor’s degree, graduate school, and PhD recipient levels.

The following plots show us the breakdown of women in each field by race/ethnicity (i.e. they show the percentage that each racial/ethnic group makes up out of all women in the field).

The racial/ethnic makeup (in 2009) of the U.S. was as follows: 65% White, 15.8% Hispanic/Latino, 12.4% Black/African American, 4.5% Asian, 0.8% American Indian/Alaska Native (the rest of the percentages are made up of the categories Other, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Two or more races).

Next, I’ll be looking at similar statistics for the professor level.  It is clear that while women in general are underrepresented in math and science, in many STEM fields it is even more pronounced for Black and Hispanic minority women.

Data obtained from the following reports:

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/tab5-7.pdf

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/tab3-1.pdf

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/tab7-7.pdf

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4 thoughts on “Statistics on minority women in science

  1. Do you also have statistics for what proportion of the population is a visible minority? I know overall in Canada it’s lower than 20%, but I couldn’t find similar data for the United States. If the population breakdown is the same in the US (I suspect it’s not), wouldn’t that mean that visible minorities are actually overrepresented?

    • Thanks for pointing this out! I’ve added a section in the post on the ethnic/racial breakdown of the U.S. population, and it does in fact show that certain groups (black and Hispanic in particular) are underrepresented.

      • Wow! Thanks for that additional research. Those are still some pretty startling figures, aren’t they? Great information.
        Also, it’s interesting how big a difference there is in the number of people who are a visible minority between the US and Canada. I think, for example, that First Nations/Inuit make up over 3% of Canada’s population.

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