There are fewer female than male STEM graduates in 107 of 114 economies

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In 107 of 114 economies, there are fewer female than male STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) graduates[i] . Among every 10 STEM graduates in South Korea, Chile, Burundi, Cambodia, and Burkina Faso, only less than 2 are girls. In this digital age, the demand for STEM graduates far exceeds its supply. This disparity in professional choices reflects a missed opportunity. Encouraging more girls into STEM can help fill the supply gap.

This indicator for share of female STEM graduates, sourced from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, was recently included in the World Bank Gender Statistics database. To explore more gender relevant indicators, visit the recently launched Little Data Book on Gender 2019 and the Gender Data Portal.


[i] exceptions include: Sint Maarten, Tunisia, Algeria, Benin, Oman, Brunei, and Syria

Join the Conversation

Sayali Phadke
August 22, 2019

Hi Divyanshi,

Could you please point me in the direction of more material to support the claim that "...the demand for STEM graduates far exceeds its supply"? Is this phenomenon observed across economies, or dominated by some, hence bringing the global average demand up and supply down?

Thank you

Haruna-aig. Ellams
August 22, 2019

All hands must be on deck to ensure that more women are involved in the study of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. New approaches should be adopted that will see the girl-child play with related toys from about age two, with special curricular, teaching methodology and teaching aids from primary to tertiary levels.

Sadia Ahmed Mao
August 22, 2019

In Somalia, Female graduates in Finance and Banking, IT, Economics, accounting, laboratory, medicine and public health are more than men.... in this century Muslim parents understand how important of educating women are that's why the number of women that go schools and universities are more than men.

Inge Voss
August 22, 2019

Why is the Netherlands missing from this table?

Mwenya N. Mwamba
August 22, 2019

It should also be noted that out of those less than 4 in 10 girls, none of them is a girl with a disability. Girls with disabilities are excluded from STEM for lack of facilities in schools, colleges and Universities and there are inadequately trained teachers in Education for Learners with Special Educational Needs and or Disability.

Edson Moyo
September 10, 2019

The trend seems getting worse in developing countries particularly Africa as development is slowing down in most communities

Chizzy HBC-Ogboko
September 10, 2019

This is a very interesting statistics and i am very glad that this issue of very few girls/female in STEM careers has received global attention.
Coincidentally, here in Enugu, Nigeria we are holding a conference on Nigerian Girls In Science, NGIS on June 22, 2019. This is to encourage junior secondary school girls to focus on science related courses. We want to catch them young.
This conference is a brainchild of Princess Grace Edemobi, a 16 year old girl living in the United States of America, but coming home for summer to help mentor young Nigerian Girls.
We would be glad to receive your feedback.
Thank you

Henry Mdebwe
September 10, 2019

Very enlightening information. Keep it up.

Mariama Kamara
November 27, 2019

I think one way to bring more females into the STEM is to encourage girls from right from upper primary or early Junior high to take interest. If the WB, UNESCO and other bodies can start investing just a little in this especially in some of the poorest countries in the world, we will have more females. Rhis must include scholarships, fellowships, mentorship or other programs that will get them interested.
Quite recently, my 10 year old daughter participated in a science fair at her school in Liberia, and took third place after extracting the DNA of a Banana, something she had researched on Youtube. These girls need the support and early mentoring. Just a little push will take them there.