Women in the Field of Astronomy: Statistics

Several studies exist that attempt to quantify the representation of women in astronomy. Note that while many of these data overlap, the studies may refer to different years, represent different samples, and employ different categorization methods. This table gives a quick summary of the most recent results. “Professor” ranks include tenure-track positions only; please see the individual studies (linked below) for more precise numbers, uncertainties, and other details.

Current Percentage of Astronomers who are Women, by Rank

Bachelor's Recipient 43 40    
First-Year Grad Student   44    
Grad Student 33 32 30  
Master's Recipient 39  30    
PhD Recipient 26 33   22
Postdoc 21   22  
Instructor/Adjunct   15    
Assistant Professor   28 20 20
Associate Professor   24 21 16
Full Professor   11 9 10

* Note that NSF and AIP data have been updated since the June 2004 issue of STATUS went to press.

Relevant Studies and Reports by the National Science Foundation
  All data: 2005, from Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities statistics page
See also: Gender Differences in the Careers of Academic Scientists and Engineers, 2004
Relevant Studies and Reports by the American Institute of Physics
  Bachelor's and Ph.D. Recipients and First-Year Graduate Students: 2005, from    Enrollments and Degrees Report, 2005
Master's Recipients: 2004, from Enrollments and Degrees Report, 2004
Graduate Students: 2000-01, from 2001 Graduate Student Report
Faculty members: 2006, from 2006 Academic Workforce Survey
See also: Women in Physics 2005
Relevant Studies and Reports by the
AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy
  All data: 2003, from the 2003 CSWA Survey of Astronomical Institutions
See also: Results from the 1992, 1999, and 2003 STScI/CSWA Surveys
and "Portrait of a Decade", from STATUS, June 2004
Relevant Studies and Reports by Dr. Donna J. Nelson, University of Oklahoma
  All data: 2002-03, from A National Analysis of Diversity in Science and Engineering
   Faculties at Research Universities
, 2004
See also: The Nelson Diversity Surveys, astronomy faculty data, astronomy Ph.D.
   attainment data

  Women in Astronomy home

Last updated July 2, 2008.
Please send comments and additions to jennifer dot hoffman at du dot edu.

Border from Horae, Westminster (Wynken de Worde), ca. 1494,
courtesy of the Medieval Woodcuts Clipart Collection.