Statistics about Women

statistics about women

Women and the Economy

  • Globally, women drive 70-80% of all consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence.1
  • Roughly 75% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households.2
  • Women now own 40% of America’s privately owned businesses2 and hold half its wealth—estimated to be $11 trillion of a total $22 trillion by 2020.3
  • Earnings of full-time female workers have risen by 31 percent since 1979, compared to a two percent rise in male earnings.4

  • Nearly half of women surveyed say that marketers don't understand them.5

  • In the U.S., women buy online more than men, with 12.5% of female Internet users making an online purchase in 2010, compared to 9.3% of men.6
  • Over 90% of the head creative director roles at the top 100 US advertising agencies are occupied by men.7
  • Women influence 91% of all home purchases.8
  • Women make 70% of all travel decisions.9
  • Even with the pay gap factored into the equation, economists predict that by 2024, the average woman in the U.S. and a number of rich European countries will out-earn the average man.10
  • In 2007, 7.8 million firms were owned by women, accounting for almost 30% of all non-farm, privately held U.S. firms. Women-owned firms had sales/receipts of $1.2 trillion and those with paid employees had 7.6 million workers.11

  1. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print.
  2. "Buying Power."Catalyst (2013).
  3. Tyrie, David. "What Women Can Teach Us About Money." Spectrem Group (2011).
  4. "Women in America."U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
  5. "The State of the American Mom."Marketing to Moms Coalition. (2009).
  6. comScore. Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet. 2010.
  7. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print.
  8. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print.
  9. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print.
  10. Bennett, Jessica and Jesse Ellison. "Women Will Rule the World."The Daily Beast (2010).
  11. "Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century."U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2010).

Women in the World

  • Labor force participation rates of women globally in 20101:

    • North America: 57.9%
    • Europe: 51.6%
    • Latin America and Caribbean: 53.2%
    • Asia: 49.3%
    • Africa: 54.9%
    • Oceania: 60.1%
  • In the United States, the average life expectancy for women is 82.1 years versus an average life expectancy of 77.8 years for men.2
  • Japan has the highest female life expectancy with an average lifespan of 86 years.3
  • Globally, women reinvest 90% of their income in their families and communities, spending more earned income on food, healthcare, home improvement and schooling for themselves and their children.4 
  • Women produce 43% of the food in developing countries.5
  • Women-owned businesses comprise up to 38% of all registered small businesses worldwide.6
  • Globally, half of all college students are now women. And in the U.S. and in the European Union, the majority are women (57% in the U.S., 55% in the E.U.).7
  • In 2010, 104 million women in 59 economies—which represent more than 52% of the world’s population and 84% of world GDP—started and managed new business ventures.8
  • In Europe, the average age at which women first marry is 30 or older in many countries. 9
  • In the period 1950-2010, the total fertility rate in the world was halved from around 5 children to around 2.5.10
  • 29 countries have a total fertility rate less than 1.5, such as Germany, Japan, Italy, and Poland.11
  • In all regions of the world, women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work.12
  • The total number of older women (aged 60 and above) increased from 113 million women in 1950 to 413 million in 2010 (nearly a 400% increase).13
  • The average number of hours per day women spends on housework and community and volunteer work ranges from around 3 (in Denmark) to over six (in Turkey, for example).14
  • At the global level, the rate of primary-school-aged girls enrolled in school increased to 86 percent from 79 percent in the period 1999-2007.15
  • Women enroll in greater numbers than men in both undergraduate and graduate institutions. In 2008, the college enrollment rate for females (72 percent) was higher than that of males (66 percent). By 2019, women are projected to account for nearly 60 percent of total undergraduate enrollment.16  Women dominate higher education in most developing countries.
  • Globally, half of all college students are now women. And in the U.S. and in the European Union, the majority are women (57% in the U.S., 55% in the E.U.).17
  • The services sector of the economy accounts for at least three quarters of women's employment in the more developed regions, with the exception of Eastern Europe (with 66 percent), and in Latin America and the Caribbean.18
  • In the more developed regions, Eastern Asia, Western Asia, and the Caribbean, at least 80 percent of employed women are wage and salaried workers.19
  • Of the various unpaid domestic tasks, the preparation of meals takes by far the most of women's time – on average an hour and 45 minutes per day in Asian countries and an hour and a half among countries in the more developed regions.20
  1. "Global Women." Catalyst (2012).
  2. "The World Factbook."Central Intelligence Agency (2013).
  3. "Global Women."Catalyst (2012).
  4. "Why Women? Why Now?" U.S. Department of State: Diplomacy in Action (2010).
  5. Doss, Cheryl. "The Role of Women in Agriculture." The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2011).
  6. "Women Entrepreneurs and Access to Finance: Program Profiles from Around the World." International Finance Corporation (2010).
  7. "Academia and Education." Women Moving Millions (2009).
  8. Ajinkya, Julie. "Unleashing Women’s Economic Potential." Center for American Progress (2012).
  9. Wallop, Harry. "Average Age for Women to Marry Hits 30 for the First Time." The Telegraph (2011).
  10. World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics. United Nations: 2010. Print.
  11. Billari, Francesco, Hans-Peter Kohler, and Jose Ortega. "Low Fertility: Causes, Implications and Policy Options."University of Pennsylvania: Social Sciences Computing 2006.
  12. World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics. United Nations: 2010. Print.
  13. World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics. United Nations: 2010. Print.
  14. World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics. United Nations: 2010. Print.
  15. "The World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics." United Nations Statistics Division (2010).
  16. "Women in America." U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
  17. Anderson, Doug. "Below the Topline Women's Growing Economic Power." Nielsen (2009).
  18. World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics. United Nations, 2010. Print.
  19. Celis, Karen, Johanna Kantola, and Georgina Waylen. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics. North Carolina: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
  20. World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics. United Nations, 2010. Print.

Women in the Workforce

  • In 2010, 72 million, or 58.6 percent of women, were labor force participants and accounted for 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force.1
  • Since 1970, women have filled two new jobs for every one taken by a man.2
  • The labor force participation rate of mothers with children under 18 years of age was 71.3 percent in March 2010.3
  • Working women in the US generate $4.3 trillion in earned income annually.4
  • In 2011, women accounted for 51 percent of all persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations.5
  • In nearly all developing countries, the proportion of working women in informal employment is greater than the proportion of working men.6
  • In 2013, women accounted for 31% of lawyers, 34% of physicians and surgeons, and 51.5% of all management, professional, and related occupations.7
  • The average wages of 20-29 year-old women are higher than same age men in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Minneapolis. In New York, young women earn 17% more than young men and 20% more in Dallas.8
  • Between 1970 and 2009, women went from holding 37% of all jobs in the U.S. to nearly 48%. That's almost 38 million more women. Without them, our economy would be 25% smaller today—an amount equal to the combined GDP of Illinois, California and New York.9
  • A record 40% of all households with children under 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.10
  • Earnings of full-time female workers have risen by 31% since 1979, compared to a two percent rise in male earnings.11
  • Almost all of the income growth in the U.S. since 1970 has come from women working outside the home.12
  1. "Women in the Labor Force in 2010." United States Department of Labor (2010).
  2. "A Guide to Womenomics." The Economist (2006).
  3. "Women in the Labor Force: A Databook." Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011).
  4. Sayre, Kate and Michael Silverstein. Women Want More. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2009. Print.
  5. "Women in the Labor Force: A Databook." Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012).
  6. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print.
  7. "Buying Power." Catalyst (2013).
  8. Anderson, Doug. "Below the Topline Women's Growing Economic Power." Nielsen (2009).
  9. Barsh, Joanna and Lareina Yee. "Unlocking the Full Potential of Women in the U.S. Economy." McKinsey and Company (2011).
  10. Parker, Kim, Paul Taylor, and Wendy Wang. "Breadwinner Moms." Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends (2013).
  11. "Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being." U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
  12. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print.

Gender and the Workplace

  • From 2004 to 2008, the Fortune 500 companies with the most female board directors outperformed those with the least -- by 16% on return on sales and by 26% on return on invested capital.1 Companies which had three or more women on boards for at least four of those years outperformed those with the lowest rates of female representation by 84% on return on sales, 60% on return on invested capital and 46% on return on equity1
  • Companies with the highest share of women outperform companies with no women. In terms of return on equity, the top-quartile group (companies with 19-44% women board representation) exceeds by 41 percent the group with no women (22 vs. 15 percent), and in terms of operating results, the more gender-diverse companies exceeds by 56 percent the group with no women (17 vs. 11 percent).2
  • Women are the CEOs of 20 of the Fortune 500 companies, including Hewlett-Packard (10th) run by Meg Whitman and IBM (19th) run by Virginia Rometty.3
  1. ”The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards" Catalyst (2007).
  2. ”Women Matter: Making the Breakthrough,” McKinsey and Company (2012).
  3. ”Women CEOs of the Fortune 1000,” Catalyst (2013).

Women and Motherhood

  • The labor force participation rate of mothers with children under 18 years of age is 71.3 percent.1
  • In general, mothers with children 6 to 17 years of age are more likely to participate in the labor force (77.2 percent) than mothers with children under 6 years of age (64.2 percent).2
  • Also, unmarried mothers (never married, divorced, separated, or widowed) tend to have higher participation rates than married mothers -- In March 2010, 75 percent of unmarried mothers were in the labor force, compared with 70 percent of married mothers.3
  • On average in American households with two heterosexual parents, mothers spend about 11 hours per week taking care of their children, while fathers spend slightly more than 3 hours per week. 4
  • A record 40 percent of all households with children under 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.5
  • Nearly 20% of women end her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with 10% in the 1970s.6
  • Currently, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that the national average age for women's first birth is 25, which can be higher on a state-by-state basis (in Massachusetts it's 28).7
  • The likelihood of a woman having her first child at age 30 or older increased roughly six-fold from about 4 percent of all first-time mothers in the 1970s to 24 percent in 2007.8
  1. Hall, Keith and Hilda L. Solis. “Women in the Labor Force.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011).
  2. Hall, Keith and Hilda L. Solis. “Women in the Labor Force.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011).
  3. Hall, Keith and Hilda L. Solis. “Women in the Labor Force.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011).
  4. Aulette, Judy Root and Judith Wittner. Gendered Worlds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.
  5. Parker, Kim, Paul Taylor, and Wendy Wang. “Breadwinner Moms.” Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends (2013).
  6. Cohn, D’Vera and Gretchen Livingston. “Childlessness Up Among All Women; Down Among Women with Advanced Degrees.” Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (2010).
  7. Goudreau, Jenna. “When Should You Become A Mom?” Forbes (2010).
  8. “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” U.S. Department of Commerce and Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).

Women and Family Life

  • In 2009, there were about 18.1 million children, or 23% of all children in the United States living in single-mother families.1
  • Women with more education tend to marry later than those with less education. In 2008, college-educated women typically married at age 30, compared to age 26 for women without a high school diploma.2
  • At age 65 or older, 95 percent of both men and women have married at least once; however, at these older ages, three times as many women as men are widowed.3
  • 70% of all mothers with children under the age of 18 work4
  • 16% of all families are living-in a multi-generational household5
  • In 2004, 36 percent of marriages involved at least one spouse who was remarrying.6
  • In 2011, 23% of married-couple family grous with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21% in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24% of married-couple family groups with children under 15. 7
  • By the end of their childbearing years, women without a high school diploma have on average 2.5 children, and women with a bachelor’s degree have about 1.7.8
  • The number of stay-at-home moms in 2011, 5 million, is down from 5.1 million in 2009 and 5.3 million in 2008.9
  • 64 percent of children ages 0 to 17 lived with two married parents in 2012, down from 77 percent in 1980. Of those living with only one parent, 26 percent of children living with single fathers and 11 percent of children living with single mothers also lived with their parent’s cohabiting partner.10
  1. Mather, Mark. “U.S. Children in Single-Mother Families.” Population Reference Bureau (2010).
  2. “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
  3. “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
  4. “Employment Characteristics of Families Summary.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013).
  5. “The Return of the Multi-Generational Family Household.” Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (2010).
  6. Kreider, Rose. “Remarriage in the United States.” U.S. Census Bureau (2006).
  7. “Mother’s Day Facts for Features.” U.S. Census Bureau (2012).
  8. Parker, Kim, Paul Taylor, and Wendy Wang. “Breadwinner Moms.” Pew Research Center (2013).
  9. ‘Mother’s Day Facts for Features.” U.S. Census Bureau (2012).
  10. “Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements.” U.S. Census Bureau (2012).

Women and Education

  • Women account for 57 percent of the students enrolled in institutions of higher education in the United States.1
  • Among the employed population 25 and older, 37 percent of women had attained a bachelor's degree or more as of 2010, compared with 35 percent of men.2
  • For the US population as a whole, women have caught up with men in the percentage who have at least a college degree, about 28 percent for each group in 2009.3
  • Women have made substantial strides in recent decades and now surpass men in both college enrollment and completion. Some 44 percent of women ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college or graduate programs as of October 2010, compared with just 38% of men in the same age group. In addition, 36 percent of women ages 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree, compared with only 28 percent of men in the same age group – a record-high divergence. Women first surpassed men in these realms in the early 1990s and the gap has been growing wider ever since.4
  • Globally, half of all college students are now women. And in the U.S. and in the European Union, the majority are women (57% in the U.S., 55% in the E.U.).5
  • 70% of high school valedictorians are women.6
  • Percentage of degrees conferred to women in the United States in 2010:7
    • Associate's Degree: 62%
    • Bachelor’s Degree: 57.4%
    • Master’s Degree: 62.6%
    • Doctor’s Degree: 53.3%
  1. “Academia and Education.” Women Moving Millions. (2012).
  2. “More Working Women Than Men Have College Degrees.” U.S. Census Bureau (2011).
  3. “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” U.S. Department of Commerce and Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
  4. Parker, Kim and Eileen Patten. “A Gender Reversal on Career Aspirations.” Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (2012).
  5. Anderson, Doug. “Below the Topline Women’s Growing Economic Power.” Nielsen (2009).
  6. Holt, Lester. “Men Falling Behind Women.” NBC News (2011).
  7. “Degrees Conferred by Sex and Race.” National Center for Education Statistics (2012).

Women and Food

  • Women are responsible for the majority (62 percent) of all grocery shopping trips. Women also spend more money on average per trip - $44.43 per trip compared to $34.81 for men.1
  • Women say food is their greatest source of satisfaction and the top category in which they will trade up.2
  • Younger women grocery shop mostly on the weekends, while women aged 55 and over spread their trips out more evenly over the course of a week.3
  • When shopping for their children, 79% of moms say that vitamins and minerals are the most important characteristic. However, when shopping for themselves, 72% of moms say that calories are the most important characteristic.4
  • 60% of moms believe that organic foods are better for their health5
  1. Hale, Todd. “In U.S. Men Are Shopping More Than Ever, While Women are Watching More T.V.” Nielsen (2011).
  2. Sayre, Kate and Michael Silverstein. Women Want More. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2009. Print.
  3. Hale, Todd. “In U.S. Men Are Shopping More Than Ever, While Women are Watching More T.V.” Nielsen (2011).
  4. Clements, Michal. “State of the American Mom 2011 Highlights.” Marketing to Moms Coalition (2011).
  5. “Natural and Organic Foods.” Food and Drug Administration (2004).

Women and Smartphones

  • As of Q1 2012, 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent of men.1
  • Women text 30 percent more overall than men.2
  • 44% of moms own a smart phone and they are giving them a god workout. Top uses include: looking up store locations and hours (61%), keeping family schedule, (49%) and work schedule (37%), and texting family and friends while shopping to get their input on clothing decisions, (49%).3
  • On average, women talk on their mobile phone 22% more than men (856.3 minutes a month compared to men’s 666.7). American women are more communicative in general on mobile devices. 4
  • Almost 60% of moms own a smartphone, compared to 44% in 2011. 5
  • Playing games is the #1 activity moms perform on their smartphones.6
  1. “America’s New Mobile Majority: A Look at Smartphone Owners in the U.S.” Nielsen (2012).
  2. Hale, Todd. “In. U.S. Men are Shopping More Than Ever, While Women are Watching More T.V.” Nielsen (2011).
  3. “State of the American Mom Report: 2011 Highlights.” Marketing to Moms Coalition (2011).
  4. “African-Americans, Women, and Southerners Talk and Text the Most in the U.S.” Nielsen (2010).
  5. “State of the American Mom Report: 2011 Highlights.” Marketing to Moms Coalition (2011).
  6. “State of the American Mom Report: 2011 Highlights.” Marketing to Moms Coalition (2011).

Women and Beauty

  • According to NPD, the total U.S. prestige beauty market (beauty products sold mainly in U.S. department stores) showed an increase of 11 percent in dollar sales in 2011 vs. 2010. 1
  • Women had 91% of the over 9 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2011.2
  • The number of cosmetic procedures for women increased over 208% from 1997.3
  • Botox, which gained FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2002, has been the most popular cosmetic nonsurgical procedure with over 4 million procedures performed in 2011.4
  • Skin care is the largest category in beauty and personal care, accounting for 23% value share of the global market in 2010, with sales of $88 billion. 5
  • The salon industry generates approximately $60 billion in annual sales, more than five times higher than movie box office revenue, and employs over 1.6 million professionals. There are more working cosmetologists than elementary school teachers or lawyers.6
  • According to research by Vaseline in 2011, women own an average of 8 skin care products, but only regularly use two.7
  1. “2011 Overview of the U.S. and Global Beauty Sales at ‘Hot Off the Press’ Event in New York City.” NPD Group (2012).
  2. “Celebrating 15 Years of Trustworthy Plastic Surgery Statistics.” American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2012).
  3. “Celebrating 15 Years of Trustworthy Plastic Surgery Statistics.” American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2012).
  4. “Botox May Be the Most Popular Procedure, but Sometimes it’s a Secret.” American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2012).
  5. Lennard, Carrie. “Nutricosmetics: Creating Solutions for Today’s Beauty Consumer.” Nutraceuticals World (2011).
  6. “Nail Salon Workers: Health and Safety, Working Conditions, Compensation, and Demographics.” Professional Beauty Association and Nail Manufacturers Council.
  7. “British Women Waste £964m on Beauty Products They Never Use and Actually Just Stick to Two Preferred Lotions.” The Daily Mail (2011).

Women and Fitness

  • Health club membership grew 139% between 1987-2007, to 41.5 million.1
  • Women account for more than half (52.7%) of all fitness equipment purchased.2
  • 73% of women report they are the primary users of fitness equipment purchased.3
  • 56% of women say that seeing successful female athletes makes them proud to be a woman.4
  • The market for women’s fitness apparel is going mainstream. “Women wear their active wear as leisure wear right now.” 5
  1. “Women’s Sports and Fitness Facts and Statistics.” Women’s Sports Foundation (2009).
  2. “Women’s Sports and Fitness Facts and Statistics.” Women’s Sports Foundation (2009).
  3. National Sporting Goods Association (2011).
  4. Women’s Sports Foundation.
  5. Perreault, Josée. Global Business, Oakley. Business Insider (2013).

Women and Apparel

  • Today, women’s fashion—including apparel, accessories, and shoes—is a global industry with $47 billion in annual sales; approximately $35 billion comes from the U.S.1
  • Women make 60% of apparel purchases.2
  • The average woman has an average of 7 pairs of jeans in her wardrobe.3
  • The U.S. Women’s apparel market grew three percent in 2012. Double-digit growth (11%) occurred in both the dresses and jeans categories.4
  • Website sales of apparel brought in 14.3 billion in sales, up 13% from 2011.5
  1. Sayre, Kate and Michael Silverstein. Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest, Fastest-Growing Market. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2009. Print.
  2. “In Celebration of Shopping.” Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor (2012).
  3. “Who’s Wearing the Pants, Now?” Cotton Incorporated (2012).
  4. NPD Group, 2013.
  5. NPD Group, 2013.

Women and Social Networking

  • In May 2011, 69% of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 60% of men.1
  • Women are also more active in their use of these sites, with more than half of female internet users using social networking sites on a typical day (54%), compared with 42% of male internet users.2
  • Women are slightly more likely than men to say that staying in touch with current friends is a major reason for using online social tools (70% vs. 63%)3
  • Globally, women spent an average of 16.3 percent of their online time on social networks in April 2010, compared to 11.7 percent for the men.4
  • The 45+ female segment is driving the greatest proportion of growth for Social Networking sites, in terms of both visitation and time spent5
  • Facebook is the leader in social networking across all mom subgroups with 72% of moms using the site.6
  1. Madden, Mary and Kathryn Zickuhr. “65% of Online Adults Use Social Networking Sites.” Pew Internet and American Life Project (2011).
  2. Abram, Stephen. “As of August 2012, 69% of Online Adults Use Social Networking Sites.” Pew Research Center Internet and American Life Project Report (2012).
  3. Smith, Aaron. “Why Americans Use Social Media.” Pew Internet And American Life Project (2011).
  4. Abraham, Linda Boland, Marie Pauline Morn, and Andrea Vollman. “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet.” ComScore (2010).
  5. Ibid.
  6. “State of the American Mom Report: 2011 Highlights.” Marketing to Moms Coalition (2011).

Women and Automobiles

  • Women make up to 52% of all new vehicle purchases including trucks and influence 80% of purchases.1
  • The brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2011 continues to be MINI (46.2 percent), followed by Nissan (45.7 percent), and Kia (45.6 percent).2
  • More women than men in the U.S. now have driver’s licenses, a reversal of a long-time gender gap.3
  • Women are more likely than men to purchase smaller, safer and more fuel-efficient cars, to drive less, and to have a lower fatally rate per distance driven.4
  1. Caldwell, Courtney. Road and Travel Magazine. Cited in Why She Buys.
  2. “Men Prefer Flashy or Brawny Vehicles; Women Prefer Import Brands and Smaller Vehicles.” TrueCar (2012).
  3. Study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. USA Today (2012).
  4. Study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. USA Today (2012).

Women and Motorcycles

  • While the majority of motorcycle owners today are men, things are changing and changing quickly. Women now own 12.3 percent of all motorcycles in the country, up from 9.6 percent in 2003. That’s a 28 percent increase in five years.1
  • Younger generations have even more female riders. Some 15 percent of Gen X motorcycle owners are women, and for Gen Y, it’s 14 percent. Among Gen Xers, women more than doubled their presence since 1998.2
  1. Lachapelle, Marc. “Women Turning On to Motorcycles.” MSN Autos (2009).
  2. “The Industry’s Census Shows More Riders, More Households, More Women and More Young Buyers.” Motorcycle Industry Council (2009).

Women and Consumer Electronics

  • In 61% of all consumer electronics purchases, a woman either initiated the purchase or was involved in the purchase process.1
  • Women are more likely to consider CE products as “household” products, meaning they consider ownership of the device, such as TVs and DVD players, to be shared with a spouse, partner, roommate or child. However, when it comes to newer and mobile technologies, such as e-readers, notebook computers and smartphones, women were more likely than men to claim sole ownership.2
  • On average, women talk on their mobile phone 22% more than men (856.3 minutes a month compared to men’s 666.7). Turns out, American women are more communicative in general on mobile devices.3
  • Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the video game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%).4
  • 45% of all video game players are women.5
  1. Hubbard, Laura. “Tip for Valentine’s Day: Women Want Electronics.” Consumer Electronics Association (2012).
  2. Hubbard, Laura. “Tip for Valentine’s Day: Women Want Electronics.” Consumer Electronics Association (2012).
  3. “African Americans, Women, and Southerners Talk and Text the Most in the U.S.” Nielsen (2010).
  4. “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry.” Entertainment Software Association (2012).
  5. “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry.” Entertainment Software Association (2012).

Women and the Web

  • In the U.S. market, women make up just under half of the Internet population but generate 58 percent of e-commerce dollars.1
  • The average 15+ female spends 8 percent more time online than her male counterpart. In April, the global average was 24.8 hours per month for women, compared to 22.9 hours for men.2
  • According to comScore Plan Metrix, nearly 56 percent of adult women say they use the Internet to stay in touch with people, compared to 46 percent of adult men.3
  • Retail is also a key site category for women, and they spend 20 percent more time on retail sites overall than men.4
  • In 2012, moms report spending two to three hours online each day compared to an hour in 2003.5
  • In terms of categories, women out-shop men at almost every turn online. Categories that are exceptions are Computer Hardware/Software, Electronics, Sports/Outdoor and Music (to a lesser degree). Outside those categories, women lead in shopping reach.6
  • In the U.S., women are more avid online buyers than men: 12.5 percent of women Internet users made an online purchase in February 2010, compared to 9.3 percent of men.7
  • Women’s contribution to e-commerce is greater in terms of buyers, transactions and dollars. In February 2010, for example, they accounted for 49.8 percent of the U.S. online population, but made up 57.9 percent of all non-travel buyers, made 61.1 percent of online purchases and accounted for 58.2 percent of online dollars.8
  • Regardless of age, men are much more likely to buy online at “pure-play” retailers (i.e. retailers such as Amazon and Zappos, etc.) that do not have a brick-and-mortar presence.9
  1. Abraham, Linda Boland, Marie Pauline Morn, and Andrea Vollman. “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet.” ComScore (2010).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. “Moms and Media 2012.” Edison Research (2012).
  6. Abraham, Linda Boland, Marie Pauline Morn, and Andrea Vollman. “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet.” ComScore (2010).
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.

Hispanic Women

  • Hispanics have the greatest purchasing power of any US ethnic group and taken together will soon represent the world's ninth largest economy.1
  • Hispanic buying power is worth $1 trillion now and is expected to grow another 50 percent to $1.5 trillion in the next five years2
  • Latinas are the largest women’s ethnic group in the United States, with 22 million women of Hispanic ancestry living in the US. This number has grown by 28.2% since 2000, over 4x faster than the growth of women overall.3
  • Latinas/Latinos’ buying power has increased from $210 billion in 1990 to $1 trillion in 2010 and is projected to climb $1.7 trillion in 2017.4
  • Latina-owned businesses represent the fastest-growing segment of the women-owned business market. Between 2002 and 2007 their businesses increased by 172 percent, compared to Latino male firms that increased by 140 percent and white-female-owned firms, which increased by 52.9 percent.5
  • In 2011, there were over 20 million Latinos/Latinas in the labor force.6
  • Latinas are the youngest of all women of color with a median age of 27.8 years. They are an average of 3.4 years younger than other women of color and 14.3 years younger than non-Hispanic white females in the United States. This makes them an attractive market for youth-oriented products (technology, music, beauty, fashion, etc.).7
  • According to a study by People En Espanol, 50% of Latinas agree that they like to use brands that demonstrate they have “made it” in America. Brands are a sign of affirmation and a validation of success.8
  1. “State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative.” Nielsen (2012).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Muley, Miriam. “Latina Leading Voices.” The 85% Niche (2004).
  4. “Buying Power.” Catalyst (2013).
  5. Peterson, Lea Marquez. “Access to Capital and the Latina Business Owner.” National Women’s Business Council (2013).
  6. “The Latino Labor Force at a Glance.” U.S. Department of Labor (2012).
  7. Ibid.
  8. Muley, Miriam. “The Power of Women of All Colors.” The 85% Niche (2004).

African American Women

  • African-Americans’ buying power has increased from $316.3 billion in 1990 to $946.6 billion in 2010 and is projected to climb to $1.3 trillion in 2017.1
  • African-Americans’ share of the consumer market was 8.5% in 2010, but will rise to 8.7% in 2017.2
  • Women of color own 1.9 million of the 7.2 million firms with a majority-female ownership, generating $165 billion in revenues and employing 1.2 million people.3
  • In 2012, approximately 9.8 million African American women were in the workforce.4
  1. “Buying Power.” Catalyst (2013).
  2. Ibid.
  3. “WBO Statistics.” National Association of Women Business Owners (2006).
  4. “African American Women.” Catalyst (2013).

Did you know?

  • In 2012 Sara Blakely, the creator of the shapewear line Spanx, became the newest self-made female billionaire to make the Forbes Billionaires List.1
  • In 2012 of the record 1,226 people in the world worth $1 billion or more, 104–8.5%–are women. That’s a record number of women making the list. Ten years ago, in 2002, only 36 women were Forbes Billionaires.2
  • For the first time in history, American women outnumbered men on the U.S. Olympic 2012 team at 269 to 261.3
  • The number of patents granted to women was highest in 2010, when 22,984 patents were granted to women, a 35 percent jump over the previous year.4
  • In the same period (2009 to 2010), the number of primary patents granted to women increased by 28.57% and the number of non-primary patents granted to women increased by 38.23%.5
  • In 1987, 30% of Americans said women should return to their traditional roles in society, while 66% disagreed with this statement. Today, only 19% agree that women should return to their traditional roles while 75% disagree.6
  • From 1997 to 2007, sales/receipts among women-owned businesses grew 46% from $819 billion to $1.2 trillion, compared to 28% growth among men-owned businesses, for which sales/receipts rose from $6.6 to $8.5 trillion.7
  • By gender, women watch more live TV than men at every age over 18, as well as more time-shifted programming recorded on a DVR.82
  • Females ages 2+ watch nearly 16 hours of traditional TV more per month than men.9
  • According to U.S. Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners, women owned 7.8 million businesses representing 28.8% of all companies in the country. The growth of women-owned firms has outpaced the growth of other firm types. Women-owned firms have increased 43.8% since 1997 while all other types have grown 30.1% since 1997.10
  • Women entrepreneurs in the United States own over 10 million businesses and employ over 19 million workers.11
  1. O’Connor, Clare. “Spanx Mogul Sara Blakely Becomes First Female Billionaire to Join Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge.” Forbes (2013).
  2. Carlyle, Erin. “The World’s Richest Women.” Forbes (2012).
  3. “More Women Than Men on U.S. Team.” ESPN Summer Olympics (2012).
  4. Kim, Eun. “More Women Obtaining Patents, Trademarks in Recent Years.” National Women’s Business Council (2012).
  5. “Intellectual Property and Women Entrepreneurs.” National Women’s Business Council (2012).
  6. “The Harried Life of the Working Mother.” Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (2009).
  7. “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century.” U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economics and Statistics Administration (2012).
  8. Hale, Todd. “In U.S. Men are Shopping More Than Ever, While Women are Watching More T.V.” Nielsen (2011).
  9. “American Video Habits by Age, Gender and Ethnicity.” Nielsen (2011).
  10. “Women-Owned Firms in the U.S.” National Women’s Business Council (2012).
  11. “Women Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneur (2001).