Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

There's Still a Long, Long Way to Go, Babystill a Long Way to Go, Baby

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

There's Still a Long, Long Way to Go, Babystill a Long Way to Go, Baby

Article excerpt

At the risk of riling the knuckle-dragger community again so soon, I must confess to being uppity and looking at the University of Pittsburgh's recent benchmarking report on the status of the region's women.

You may have read our front-page story last week, "Pittsburgh's women well-educated, badly paid," which summarized the findings of Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research. If you did, you got more than the recommended weekly allowance of bad news.

According to the 2000 census, women older than 18 outnumber men by 14 percent in the city, 16 percent in Allegheny County and 14 percent in the metropolitan area, which includes surrounding counties. (This comes as no surprise to any single woman.)

More than 16 percent of women 18-64 in Pittsburgh are enrolled as college undergraduates. That's the highest percentage in the 70 largest cities in the United States. Five percent are in graduate or professional degree programs, the second highest percentage in the country.

In the metro area, 94 percent have high school diplomas, the highest percentage in the nation. Thirty-five percent in the region have bachelor's degrees.

In fact, women 25-34 in Allegheny County and the region have gotten bachelor's degrees at higher rates than men. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of women with bachelor's degrees has gone up, while the number of men with bachelor's degrees has fallen. Men with degrees tend to join our population drain, while the ladies stay. So, as the report says, "Educated young women now outnumber educated young men in the region."

This is also no surprise to single, college-educated women. Why do they stay? If it's not for the high-paying jobs (and it's not -- I'll get to that next) or the company of well-educated men, what keeps them here? The weather? The teams? The airport?

In Allegheny County, 71 percent of women 25-59 are employed. That's above average for the nation's 50 largest counties. But only half work full time. Women here work part time at a higher rate than in other cities, counties and metro areas.

Maybe that's because so many are students. It would be interesting to find out whether the part-timers like it that way. …

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