The Humanities, Declining? Not According to the Numbers. – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Recently, Nate Silver, the statistician who has become famous for the accuracy of his analyses of polling data, has weighed in on the inexorable decline of the humanities, and has found, using “numbers” and “arithmetic,” that “the relative decline of majors like English is modest when accounting for the increased propensity of Americans to go to college.”

“In fact, the number of new degrees in English is fairly similar to what it has been for most of the last 20 years as a share of the college-age population,” Silver said. “In 2011, 1.1 out of every 100 21-year-olds graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, down only incrementally from 1.2 in 2001 and 1.3 in 1991. And the percentage of English majors as a share of the population is actually higher than it was in 1981, when only 0.7 out of every 100 21-year-olds received a degree in English.”

 

The Humanities, Declining? Not According to the Numbers. – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.