Women with a College Degree

Women with a College Degree

Data highlight

Oklahoma and Nevada tie for last (49/50) in the nation for the percentage of women ages 25-44 with a college degree – 26.4%. Massachusetts tops the list at 38.4%.


Percent of females aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

0 %
0 %



Women with a college degree have successfully completed a higher education program and have been awarded an academic degree by an accredited college or university.

Why we care:

Education is a social determinant of health that is linked to higher wages, increased civic engagement, and overall healthier lifestyle choices. 

The biggest impact a college degree has on health outcomes is the income potential that accompanies it. In general, higher degrees equate to higher wages.

Women have been enrolling and graduating from college at higher rates than men since the early 1990s, and they overtook their male colleagues in the college-educated workforce in late 2019. Nevertheless, the wage gap persists (see Gender Pay Gap).

Even if college-educated women make less than similarly-situated men, educational achievement still provides many Oklahoma women with security and independence. The ability to make higher wages in a more stable job can reduce stress and increase a woman’s ability to afford healthier foods, safer living options, and continuous health care. 

Financial independence can also be a major factor in whether or not a woman chooses to leave an abusive relationship (see Intimate Partner Violence).

Even so, degree attainment isn’t distributed equitably. Women who: are Asian or white; have an annual household income of $75,000 or more; and/or live in metropolitan areas are more likely to complete their degree programs.

As with high school completion, unplanned pregnancies and parenthood negatively impact women’s degree attainment rates. Access to family planning resources, the full range of reproductive healthcare, and support for parenting students is critical for women pursuing higher degrees. 

When empowered to make choices about if and when to start a family, women are more likely to meet educational and career goals and provide for themselves and their families in the long-run.

What we can do:

This issue brief was written by Metriarch staff as part of our Data Lookbook. Contributions and peer review were provided by Irissa Baxter with Take Control Initiative

Suggested citation
 Metriarch. “Education,” Data Lookbook (2024). URL: https://www.metriarchok.org/women-with-a-college-degree/

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