Why Men Are Disappearing on Campus

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Some 79% more men than women attended America’s colleges and universities when one of us (Mr. Vedder) was an undergraduate in 1959. Women now greatly outnumber men on campuses. The Journal reported recently that men now make up only about 40% of college students. From spring 2019 to spring 2021, the number of collegiate male students fell by more than 535,000, well over triple the modest 154,000 decline observed for women, according to National Student Clearinghouse data.

Between 1959 and 2021, the number of male students for every 100 women fell by an extraordinary 62%. The decline in the 1960s and 1970s can be explained as women simply catching up with men. But the decline in men on campus continued in the late 20th century, long after parity had been reached and gender equality had improved.

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