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Best States for Gender Equality: Education

The education category of the Best States for Gender Equality analysis looks at gender disparities in two metrics: four-year graduation rates between men and women, and eighth grade achievement test scores in math and reading between boys and girls. Of all the disparity-based categories in our analysis, education is the only one in which women’s outcomes are stronger than men’s.

States in the Northeast, the West Coast and bordering the Great Lakes received the highest marks in the education category – meaning they had the smallest disparities between men and women. Maryland, Indiana and Illinois took the top three spots. Alabama, Idaho and Arkansas, meanwhile, earned the lowest scores of all the states.

Among four-year college degree seekers at public universities, women completed their degree at higher rates than men in every state. Nationally, 66% of women finished compared to 59.7% of men – a difference of 6.3 percentage points.

Girls also have higher achievement test scores in reading than boys in every single state, with an increasing gap as grade levels progress. Girls outperform boys by 7 points nationally at grade four, 11 points by grade eight, and 13 points by grade 12. In math, boys have a lead at grade 4 in nearly all states, but only by 3 points nationally. By grade eight the difference in average scores drops to much less than 1 point.

Christopher Wolf.(Aug. 25, 2022, at 6:00 a.m.). Best States for Gender Equality: Education.



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