*You can follow me on Twitter @dbressoud.*In the United States, the mathematically intensive disciplines—engineering, the mathematical sciences, and the physical sciences—have traditionally been dominated by White males. It is common knowledge that the U.S. population is changing. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the Department of Education show that while 73% of high school graduates in 1995 were White, by 2015 that had decreased to 55%, on track to drop below 50% by 2025, in just eight years (Figure 0.1).

*These and all data in this article are taken from the NCES Digests of Education Statistics, 1990 through 2017, available at nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/.*

It has become a truism that if the United States is to maintain its pre-eminence in science and technology, we must ensure that traditionally underrepresented minorities share in this preparation for mathematically intensive careers. Groups like the Mathematical Association of America have programs such as the Tensor grants that encourage students from underrepresented groups to succeed in mathematics.

While we have seen and should continue to see a modest increase in the percentage of Asian and Black students, most of the changing demographics are shaped by the dramatic growth in the number of Hispanic students, which grew from 9% of high school graduates in 1995 to 21% in 2015, projected to reach 27% by 2025 (Figure 0.2).

The intent of this article is simply to exhibit the data showing how well we are including various racial, ethnic, and gender groups among the recipients of bachelor’s degrees in engineering, the mathematical sciences, and the physical sciences. In future articles, I will address some of the ways in which MAA and other organizations are addressing the issues raised by these trends.

The bulk of this paper is taken with three appendices that show the graphs of the percentage of bachelor’s degrees earned in these three areas by each of the following demographic groups:

- Figure x.1. Women
- Figure x.2. White students, also reported by gender
- Figure x.3. Black students, also reported by gender Figure x.4.
- Hispanic students, also reported by gender
- Figure x.5. Asian students, also reported by gender
- Figure x.6. Non-resident alien students, also reported by gender where x is 1 for engineering, 2 for the mathematical sciences, and 3 for the physical sciences.

**Observations**

Probably the most striking graph in this entire collection is Figure 2.6, showing the proportion of mathematics degrees going to non-resident aliens. Historically, this has been around 4%. It began to take off in 2008. By 2015, 13% of the bachelor’s degrees in the mathematical sciences were awarded to non-resident aliens. While we welcome these visitors and hope that many of them will stay, it is disturbing that so much of our mathematical talent must be imported. As shown in Figures 1.6 and 3.6, there have also been increases in the fraction of engineering and physical science degrees earned by non-resident aliens, but here the growth has not been nearly as dramatic.

A very disturbing set of graphs are given in Figures 1.3, 2.3, and 3.3, showing the proportion of degrees earned by Black students. In all three disciplines, we see a pattern of substantial growth during the 1990s, followed by a period of leveling off, followed by substantial decline. In engineering and the physical sciences, the percentage of degrees earned by Black students has dropped to levels not seen since 1993. In mathematics, the percentage of degrees awarded to Black students in 2015, 4.6%, is below that of 1990, when it was 5.0%.

Compared to engineering and the physical sciences, the mathematical sciences have done very well, but we were at 46% in 1990 and achieved 48% in 1998. We have since slipped back to 43%. The recent trend line looks decidedly flat.

**Appendix I. Bachelor’s degrees in Engineering**

Figure 1.1. Women as a percentage of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering. Note: scale starts at 10%. |

Figure 1.2. White non-Hispanic students as percentage of all bachelor's degrees in engineering. |

Figure 1.3. Black non-Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in engineering. |

Figure 1.4. Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in engineering. |

Figure 1.5. Asian students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in engineering. |

Figure 1.6. Non-Resident Alien students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in engineering. |

**Appendix II. Bachelor’s degrees in the Mathematical Sciences**

Figure 2.1. Women as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. Note: Scale starts at 40%. |

Figure 2.2. White non-Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. |

Figure 2.3. Black non-Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. |

Figure 2.4. Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. |

Figure 2.5. Asian students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. |

Figure 2.6. Non-Resident Alien students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. |

**Appendix III. Bachelor’s degrees in the Physical Sciences**

Figure 3.1. Women as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences. Note: scale starts at 30% |

Figure 3.2. White non-Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences. |

Figure 3.3. Black non-Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences. |

Figure 3.4. Hispanic students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences. |

Figure 3.5. Asian students as a percentage of all Bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences. |

Figure 3.6. Non-Resident Alien students as a percentage of all bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences. |

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