Statistics Canada
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International Women’s Day… by the numbers

2011

Image: 100th Anniversary. Girls’ rights matter. International Women’s Day, March 8, 2011.
Image: 100th Anniversary. Girls’ rights matter. International Women’s Day, March 8, 2011.

International Women’s Day is March 8th, 2011.

Two of Statistics Canada’s online publications, Canadian Social Trends and Women in Canada, include articles on women and their contributions to family and society.

Here are some of the highlights from those publications.

(Last updated February 24, 2011.)


The image on this page is courtesy of Status of Women Canada.


  • 17,191,500 — The estimated number of females of all ages in Canada as of July 1, 2010.

Source: Summary tables, Population by sex and age group, by province and territory (Number, female).


Women and education

  • 23% — The proportion of women aged 25 to 64 with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2006.
  • 61% — The percentage of university graduates that were women in 2007.
Source:  “Social fact sheet,” Canadian Social Trends.

In focus

Women have made substantial gains in education over the last few decades and are now more likely to have a university degree than men. In 2006, for every 100 women aged 25 to 49 with a university degree, there were 84 men with the same level of education. The corresponding ratio in 1981 was 157 men for every 100 women.

Over the last quarter-century, the conjugal situation of female university graduates has changed considerably. In 2006, women aged 25 to 49 with a university degree were more likely to be married than other women (57% and 53% respectively). In 1981, the opposite was true: 65% of women with a university degree were married, compared with 76% of less-educated women.

The majority of women with a university education marry men who also have a university education. This tendency has decreased slightly over the last quarter-century. The pattern is similar for women in common-law unions. In contrast, men with a university degree are increasingly likely to be married to or in a common-law union with a woman who also has a university degree.

Source: “Sharing their lives: women, marital trends and education,” Canadian Social Trends.


Women in the workforce

  • 25% — The increase in the number of unemployed women in 2009 from 2008.
  • 7% — The unemployment rate for women in 2009, up from 5.7% in 2008.
  • 84% — The wage ratio of women’s average hourly wages compared to the wages for men in 2008.

Source: “Economic fact sheet,” Canadian Social Trends.

See also: Latest release from the Labour Force Survey.

  • $30,100 — The average total income of Canadian women in 2008.
  • 13% — The percentage growth in average income for women in Canada from 2000 to 2008.
  • $47,000 — The average total income of Canadian men in 2008.
  • 7% — The percentage growth in average income for men in Canada from 2000 to 2008.

Sources: “Economic Well-being,” Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report; “Women in Canada: Economic well-being,” The Daily, Thursday, December 16, 2010.

  • 58.3% — The proportion of women in Canada—representing 8.1 million women—who were employed in 2009. This is more than double the number of women employed in 1976.
  • 72.9% — The proportion of women with children under the age of 16 living at home who were employed in 2009, nearly twice the rate of 39.1% recorded in 1976.

Source: “Women in Canada: Paid work,” The Daily, Thursday, December 9, 2010; “Paid work,” Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report.


Life satisfaction of women with disabilities

This study found that women with disabilities aged 25 to 54 expressed a very high degree of satisfaction with the quality of their relationships with family and friends.

They reported receiving less satisfaction from their daily activities and the least amount from their health status. Factors that had a negative impact on their satisfaction scores included:  having a severe or very severe disability, having to have caregiving help, having a disability that prevents their participation in leisure activities and being stressed. 

Factors that were positively associated with satisfaction scores include:  having paid work, volunteering, living with a spouse and children, regular visits with family, and having a network of close friends.

Source: “Life satisfaction of working age women with disabilities,” Canadian Social Trends.


Taking precautions

While men and women have similar perceptions about the amount of crime in their neighbourhood, their use of precautionary measures to avoid crime differs. 

  • 5 times — The odds that women aged 25 to 54 would lock their car door or carry something to defend themselves compared to men in the same age group.
  • 3 times — The odds that women would plan their route with safety in mind compared to men in the same age group.

Source: “Precautions taken to avoid victimization: A gender perspective,” Canadian Social Trends.


The role of gender in the first half of the 20th century

Data from the Census of population gathered between 1911 and 1951 show how far women have come. While it was relatively rare for women to be doing paid work outside the home in the early part of the 20th century, newly digitized census data from this time shows that there were some women who were in non-traditional occupations such as blacksmiths and carpenters.

  • 16% — The percentage of women involved in the paid labour market in 1931.

Before 1947 — If a woman with Canadian citizenship married a non-Canadian or non-British empire citizen — she lost her Canadian citizenship.

Source: “The Census and the evolution of gender roles in early 20th century Canada,” Canadian Social Trends.


Women and retirement savings

  • 39% — The proportion of women (who were paid workers) with coverage in a registered pension plan (RPP).
  • 39% — The share of total registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions made by women in 2008.
  • $2,240 — The median contribution made by women who contributed to RRSPs in 2008.

Source:  “Economic fact sheet,” Canadian Social Trends.


Women and health and well-being

  • 83 years — The average life expectancy of a baby girl born in 2006.
  • 17% — The proportion of women who had high blood pressure in 2008.
  • 19% — The proportion of women with asthma in 2008.
  • 9 out of 10 — The ratio of women who were satisfied or very satisfied with their life in general in 2008.

Source:  “Social fact sheet,” Canadian Social Trends.

See also: “Deaths,” The Daily, Tuesday, February 23, 2010.


For more information about this page or for help finding more data, contact Media Relations.

See previous features on this and on other subjects in By the numbers – archives.