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Press Release 13-035

Report Highlights Latest Data on Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

Recent data details science and engineering employment patterns

Photo of young woman in a wheelchair

In science-related degrees, women trend toward psychology degrees and less toward computer science.
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March 5, 2013

Women, persons with disabilities and three racial and ethnic groups--African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians--continue to be underrepresented in science and engineering (S&E) according to a new report released by the National Science Foundation.

The report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2013, highlights the most recent data on S&E education and employment patterns for these groups.

Data in the report demonstrate that women earn a smaller proportion of degrees in many S&E fields of study, although their participation has risen during the last 20 years in most S&E fields. Women's participation is greatest in psychology, where more than 70 percent of degrees in that field were awarded to women. Women's participation is lowest in computer science and engineering--18 to 28 percent of degrees in those fields were awarded to them since 1991.

Underrepresented minorities' shares of S&E bachelor's and master's degrees have been rising during the last 20 years. Since 1991, the greatest rise in the share of S&E bachelor's degrees earned by underrepresented minorities has been in psychology, the social sciences and computer sciences.

Since 2000, underrepresented minorities' shares in engineering and the physical sciences degrees have been flat, and participation in mathematics has dropped.

Unemployment rates are higher for minority scientists and engineers than for Caucasian scientists and engineers, and the rate is higher for Asian females than for Asian male scientists and engineers. Among employed scientists and engineers in all racial and ethnic groups, women are more likely than men to be employed part-time. Caucasian women are the most likely to be employed part-time.

This report includes an interactive digest that highlights key issues and trends through graphics and text, along with detailed statistical tables that provide data on higher education enrollments, degrees, institutions and financial support and on employment status, occupations, sectors and salaries. Links to other NSF and non-NSF sources of data are also provided in the report.

For more information on this report, please contact the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics webpage for more reports and other products.


Media Contacts
Deborah Wing, NSF, (703) 292-5344,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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