UK physics A-level entrants by gender 2010–17

What does this data show?


The number of girls taking A-level physics in 2017 is 7846, representing 21.5% of all entrants in the subject. There has been little change between 2016 and 2017, when 21.6% of entrants into A-level physics were girls.

The number of girls taking A-level physics has increased since 2010, but this has been in line with the overall rise in the number of entrants and the proportion of girls to boys has stayed roughly level at 21% (+/- 0.5%) during this time. Since the early 1990s, the proportion of girls to boys has not fallen below 20.7% but not risen above 23.1%. The number of girls studying physics fell almost every year from the early 1990s, falling to a low of 5960 in 2006, and since 2007 has increased annually by an average of 2.6%. The number of boys has also risen by an average of 2.8% over the same period.

In other subjects, the proportion of girls taking biology is higher than boys, with 61.7% of the cohort female in 2017. In chemistry girls also surpassed boys in 2017 as 50.9% of the entrants were female, up from 49.9% in 2016. The only subject to have a smaller proportion of girls than physics in 2017 was computer science, where females made up only 9.8% of the 8299 entrants.

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