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Humanities Report Card 2013

Data Sources

The Value of the Humanities

Data on employers’ preferences for new hires:

Data on graduates’ satisfaction with choice of humanities major:

  • U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), B&B: 2009 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study; data analyzed by Humanities Indicators staff using the NCES online data analysis tool, PowerStats.

Data on the link between humanities coursework and civic engagement:

A striking and unanticipated finding of the Hillygus study was the influence of SAT verbal scores on post-college political participation: "Holding all other controls to their means and indicator variables to zero, the predicted probability of political participation for those in the 20th percentile in verbal aptitude (460 of 800) is just 30.8% compared to 41.1% among those in the 80th percentile (620 of 800). In contrast, higher math SAT scores are related to lower levels of political participation."

This finding speaks to the role of elementary and secondary humanities education in promoting political participation among young adults.

Data on the distribution of humanities majors among economic sectors:

Data on college majors for members of Congress:

  • Tabulated from congressional directories by Mark Zronek, with assistance from congressional staff to clarify ambiguities in reported information; special thanks to Matthew Wasniewski, Historian of the House of Representatives, for his help.

Signs of Health

Data on world history course-taking among high school students:

Data on growth in the number of humanities undergraduate degrees:

Data on Advanced Placement test-taking in the humanities:

Data on course-taking in humanities subjects among high school students:

Data on the GMAT scores of humanities majors:

Data on participation in public library programs:

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Indicators, "Use of Public Libraries;" note that the tabulation is per 1,000 people, based on the unduplicated population of libraries’ legal service areas.


Data on U.S. high school students’ reading proficiency:

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Indicators, "Reading Competency: An International Perspective;" note that the rankings given are for jurisdictions’ results on a combined reading literacy scale, which reflects students’ scores on the access and retrieve, integrate and interpret, and reflect and evaluate subscales.

Data on reading for pleasure:

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Indicators, "Book Reading;" note that decline was in the share of Americans 18 and older who read a book other than for work or school in the previous 12 months.

Data on 12th grade students’ proficiency in writing, history, and civics:

Data on public high school teacher qualifications:

Data on funding dedicated to humanities research within higher education:

Data on reading to children:

Data on the gap between math and verbal SAT scores:

Data on language study among college students: