Progress in American Women’s Well-Being Stalled in Recent Generations, Analysis Finds
Culture| | By Jason Owen
WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The level of well-being of young American women rose significantly for members of the Baby Boom generation but hit a wall in generations that followed, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) concludes in a landmark new report. In a PRB Population Bulletin, “Losing Ground: Young Women’s Well-Being Across Generations in the United States,” analysts present a comprehensive new Index of Young Women’s Well-Being (covering ages 16 to 34). The results show how social and structural barriers to progress for young women in Generation X and the Millennial generation have contributed to women’s persistently high poverty rates, a declining share of women in high-wage/high-tech jobs, a dramatic rise in women’s incarceration rates, and increases in maternal mortality and women’s suicide.
View the full report, a summary video and an infographic at: http://bit.ly/WomenLosingGround Momentum has stalled or reversed on several key measures of well-being:
- The proportion of women ages 30 to 34 living in poverty increased to about 17 percent for the Millennial generation from about 12 percent for Generation X.
- Young women in Generation X faced higher rates of maternal mortality than women of the Baby Boom, and rates are even higher for Millennial women.
- About 1 in 4 workers in high-paying STEM occupations were women in Generation X, but this has fallen to 1 in 5 for Millennials.
- The suicide rate for young women in the Millennial generation increased to 6.3 per 100,000 from 4.4 per 100,000 in Generation X.
- Women’s incarceration rates have grown 10-fold between the World War II generation and Millennial generation.
- Educational attainment has increased: Women’s high school dropout rate has fallen over time, while the share of women with at least a bachelor’s degree has increased.
- The gender gaps in earnings and in business ownership persist but have narrowed from one generation to the next.
- The teen birth rate is at an historic low.
- The share of young women who are smoking has dropped sharply among Generation X and Millennials compared with previous generations.
- The female homicide rate has fallen in each generation since the Baby Boom.
- While women remain underrepresented in Congress and in state legislatures, their share of legislators has increased with each successive generation.
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