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34 Affirmative Action Statistics

The main goal of affirmative action is to level the playing field by mitigating the negative factors that affect minorities and hinder their aspirations. The following аffirmative аction statistics show societies progress in this area:  

Affirmative Action in Education

  • The Supreme Court determines that the University of Michigan Law School may give minorities special treatment in the admissions process. By a majority of five to four, the Supreme Court sustains the law school policy. (CNN, 2003)   
  • Before the implementation of the busing programs in 1968, 64% of African American children attended schools where students of color made up 90% or more of the student body. By 1988, that proportion had been halved, with only 32% remaining. (CECR, 2019)   
  • According to a 2019 survey by EdBuild, 53% of children in the United States were enrolled in districts with more than 75 percent white or nonwhite students. (EdBuild, 2019)   
  • The Pew Research Center conducted three polls, all of which yielded encouraging results. In 2003, 64% of respondents approved “affirmative action policies meant to assist African Americans, women, and other minorities in obtaining better jobs and education.” In 2005, the percentage increased to 67%, and in 2007, it reached 70%. (Public Opinion on Affirmative Action, 2016)   
  • 15% of college-aged applicants were African Americans in 2015. 6% of non-international first-year students on these very campuses were African American in the same year. (NewYorkTimes, 2017)   
  • In the 2010-2011 school year, women received less than 40% of MBA degrees. (Catalyst, 2021)   
  • Many major subgroups believe colleges should determine admissions solely on merit. 87% of Republicans and 53% of Democrats prefer race-neutral college admission decisions. (Gallup, 2013) 
  • Despite setbacks, the overall college population from a minority perspective has increased diversity by over 57%. (, 2017) 

Affirmative Action for Women

  • A study from 2006-2010 found that from 1,109,775 Chief Executive positions in the U.S., 77.95% were male and 22.05% female. (, 2006-2010)   
  • In comparison to men, women are 24% more likely to lose their jobs permanently. (Catalyst, 2021)   
  • Women are less likely than men to participate in the labor force around the world. (International Labour Organization, 2020)   
  • In 2020, globally: Less than half of the women (46.9%) participated in the workforce in 2010; that number went down from 51.0% in 1990. (DataWorldBank, 2021)   
  • Men made up nearly three-quarters of the workforce (74.0%), down from 80.2% in 1990. (DataWorldBank, 2021)   
  • Women accounted for 38.8% of all labor force participation. (DataWorldBank, 2021)   
  • In 2020, women held 20.6% of the board director positions globally, up from 20.0% in 2019. (, 2020)   
  • Women spend an average of 4 hours and 22 minutes a day in unpaid labor worldwide, compared to only 2 hours and 15 minutes for males. (OECD. stat, 2021)   
  • Covid-19 has extended this gap. Women currently work 15 hours more per week in unpaid labor than males. (, 2020)   
  • The U.S. is the only OECD member country that does not require paid family leave. (, 2020)   
  • With a median leave of 98 days, maternity leave is available in 184 economies. (, 2019)   
  • Paternity leave is provided in 105 countries, with an average leave of five days. (, 2019) 
  • Women and minorities are under-represented in business opportunities in almost every industry that contracts with the government. College-educated African American women make nearly $20,000 less per year than white men who have the same degree. (Harvard Business Review, 2021)  

Affirmative Action Compliance Service Vendors

Affirmative Action for Race

  • This percentage was up from 47% in 2001, 49% in 2003, and 50% in 2005. (NewsGallup, 2005)   
  • A study from 2006-2010 found that from 1,109,775 in U.S. Chief Executive positions.  86.57% were white, and 13.43% were a minority. (, 2006-2010)   
  • According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 58% of people support Affirmative Action for persons of color and other minorities. (NewsGallup, 2015)   
  • Whites are more over-represented in the college population when compared to the overall population today than they were in 1995. ( 
  • Just 15 years after racial preferences have dropped from the admissions process in California, the amount of in-state African American student applications to state universities dropped over 30% and over 40% for the Hispanic population. (Nytimes, 2017) 
  • Only 10% of minorities believe that government should play no role whatsoever in using Affirmative Action to improve social or economic opportunities for minorities. (Newyorker, 2020)  
  • At the elite colleges examined by N.Y. Times, 6% of noninteractional first-year students were African American, and 13% were Hispanic. (NewYorkTimes, 2017)   
  • In Gratz v. Bollinger, a six-to-three decision overturns an undergraduate policy that used a point system to give minority candidates particular “weight.” (lawCornellEdu, 2003)     
  • 58% of Americans support Affirmative Action programs for racial minorities. Even most whites (51%) support Affirmative Action, although the percentage is dramatically lower than African Americans (76%). (Gallup, 2017) 
  • Support for government intervention in improving the social and economic positions of minorities has dwindled by more than 10% in some minority races since 2004. ( 
  • The median income for whites in the United States is over $44,000 per household, but it is less than $30,000 for African American households. The poverty rate for African Americans is nearly triple that of whites of the whole population. (, 2020)

These affirmative action statistics show that things are changing at a slow and steady pace. It remains to be seen if affirmative action can level the playing field in the U.S.