Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

More Women Than Men Have College Degrees Now

Let us continue with statistics for a bit. The demographics of college are changing rapidly and that has major political implications. In 1970, only 11% of the Americans over 25 had at least a 4-year college degree. Now that is 38%. Back then, how the 11% voted wasn't very important at all. Now, how the 38% vote is very important. To the extent that college-educated voters vote the same way, it is a bloc much too large to ignore.

Probably even more important, however, is the breakdown between men and women. Until 2021, more men had college degrees than women. That is not true anymore. In a 2021 survey, among Americans over 25, 39% of the women were college graduates vs. only 36% of the men. But maybe that survey is a fluke and will soon reverse? Uh uh. In 2021, the last year data are available, 56% of students enrolled in college (including graduate school) were women and 44% were men. Thus, the near future of the country will have more college-educated women than college-educated men. There is no sign at all of that reversing.

What are the political implications of this? Here are two graphics from the study.

Women and college-educated people voted for Biden by large margins

Here you can see that both women and college graduates are strongly Democratic, whereas men and non-college voters are strongly Republican. In other words, we are moving toward a situation in which the Democratic Party will be dominated by college-educated women and the Republican Party will be dominated by non-college men. Put another way, two trends are coalescing. Women are more Democratic than men and college-educated voters are more Democratic than non-college voters, and now these trends are reinforcing one another. We see this now on some issues, like abortion, guns, and climate change, but going forward the differences between the parties is only going to get stronger. The blue team will be led by college-educated women and the red team will be led by non-college men. The polarization will only get stronger as demographic trends like these don't turn on a dime. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates