State of the Humanities 2021: Workforce & Beyond

Gender Earnings Gap among College Graduates, by Field of Bachelor’s and Highest Degree, 2018

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Humanities Indicators

Gender Earnings Gap12  among College Graduates, by Field of Bachelor’s and Highest Degree, 2018

Gender also makes a difference in graduates’ earnings. Among college graduates generally, women earned substantially less than their male counterparts, though the 16% gender gap in earnings among holders of terminal bachelor’s degrees in the humanities was smaller than the gap among graduates from business, the physical sciences, or the behavioral/social sciences.

For most fields, including the humanities, the gap in earnings between men and women was larger for those who had earned advanced degrees. But the difference between humanities graduates with only a bachelor’s and those who had gone on to earn an advanced degree was modest compared to that found among life or health/medical science graduates.13


  • 12In keeping with the practice of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the gap was calculated by dividing the difference between men’s and women’s median earnings by men’s median earnings. For a breakdown of humanities graduates’ earnings by gender, see the Humanities Indicators website.
  • 132018 American Community Survey PUMS.