Population characteristics describe the
diverse social, demographic, and economic features of the
Nation’s population. There were over 146 million women
and girls in the United States in 2005, representing slightly
more than half of the population.
Comparison of data by factors such as
sex, age, and race and ethnicity can be used to tailor the
development and evaluation of programs and policies serving
The following section presents data on
population characteristics that affect women’s physical,
social, and emotional health. Some of these characteristics
include the age and racial and ethnic distribution of the
population, household composition, education, income, occupation,
and participation in Federal programs.