Census shows women making strides in education nationally, locally

GUYSBOROUGH – Statistics Canada released information from the 2021 census regarding educational attainment across the country last month. The data gathered show that women in Canada are among the most educated in the world and are “more likely than men to hold a high school or postsecondary qualification.”

In Canada, 67.1 per cent of adults aged 25 to 64 hold a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree; 64.2 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women. This trend is replicated in the municipal units within Guysborough County with 48.6 per cent of men and 54.8 of women in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough holding a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree; and similar results in the District of St. Mary’s: 47.1 per cent of men and 62.1 per cent women, and the Town of Mulgrave: and 48.4 per cent of men and 76.5 per cent of women.

The level of education of women has risen since the 2016, when 66.7 per cent of women aged 25 to 64 years held a postsecondary qualification compared to 70 per cent in the 2021 census. Statistics Canada notes that the increase in level of education attained correlates to where women live, stating, “Women's educational attainment varied by the remoteness of the communities where they lived, where the level of remoteness of their communities were determined by their proximity (or distance) to population centres as a proxy for services accessibility, as well as the population size of these communities.”

When comparing the percentages of bachelor’s degree attainment for women in Guysborough County, this inference from the data rings true. In Canada 23.8 per cent of women aged 25 to 64 years hold a bachelor’s degree, 22.5 per cent in Nova Scotia overall and in Guysborough County; 11.1, 12.6 and 11.8 per cent of women aged 25 to 64 years hold a bachelor’s degree in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s and the Town of Mulgrave respectively.

Despite the lower than provincial levels of attainment of bachelor’s degrees within Guysborough County, the data indicates a positive trend, when compared to the 2016 census figures.

Statistics from the 2016 census show women aged 25 to 64 years held fewer bachelor’s degrees than in 2021 in the county. The 2016 census data shows 8.2 per cent of women in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, 5.2 per cent of women in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s and 9.5 per cent of women in the Town of Mulgrave held bachelor’s degrees.

For more information and complete data from the 2021 census visit https://www12.statcan.gc.ca.

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal