AAA Surveys

What is Happening with Anthropology? Recent Trends Regarding Faculty, Enrollment, Degrees Granted and Departments (Power Point)
At the 2011 AAA Annual Meeting in Montreal, the Department of Academic Programs presented data on what is happening within the discipline regarding recent trends concerning faculty, enrollment and degrees granted. Comparative data on salaries, enrollments, degrees granted is included, as well as information on the general state of anthropology departments. To see the presentation, please go to: What is Happening with Anthropology? (Power Point)

NOW AVAILABLE: The Changing Face of Anthropology
Report on MA Anthropologists produced by the Committee on Practicing, Applied and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA) was released February 1, 2011. This report contains key findings from a survey of anthropologists holding a MA degree. It reports information on their career pathways, an assessment of their academic preparation and experiences and views on professional organizations.

A short 10 page summary is available here
The complete report (70 pages plus appendices) is available here

For more information or questions about the report, please contact Katie Vizenorl, Professional Fellow,

2009 Anthropology Faculty Job Market Report
To respond to increased concern over the current academic job marked, AAA conducted a survey of anthropology programs in the US. Learn more> (PDF)

What Counts for Tenure (Power Point)
In Fall 2008, AAA conducted a survey of 565 anthropology departments on tenure requirements and processes.  The results were presented at the AAA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.  A follow-up survey on types of scholarly production is planned for 2010.  To access information from the 2008 survey, please go to: What Counts for Tenure (Power Point)

Work Climate, Gender, and the Status of Practicing Anthropologists
Prepared for the American Anthropological Association, 18 February, 2009
The Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA) is committed to equal opportunity for anthropologists in all work settings, and in 2004 expanded its mission to become more inclusive of and to seek ways to connect to practicing anthropologists. To this end, COSWA designed and administered two work climate surveys to assess the gendered dimensions of anthropological work practice.
COSWA 2009 Survey (PDF, 96 pages)
Executive Summary (PDF, 4 pages)

We've Come a Long Way, Maybe: Academic Climate Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology 
Prepared for the American Anthropological Association, 12 May 2008
This report presents findings from a survey on academic climate issues in American anthropology departments and was conducted by the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA)
COSWA 2008 Survey (PDF)

Social Science PhDs Five+ Years Out:
Anthropology Report

To assess the career paths of PhDs and the quality of doctoral education in U.S. social science programs, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington, Seattle surveyed a national sample of recent social science PhDs in six fields, yielding career and family data spanning the from the beginning of graduate school to 6 to 10 years post-PhD.
CIRGE 2008 Survey (PDF)

1998 Biennial Survey of Anthropology Departments in the US 
Department Services Program Report
The average anthropology program in the US employs eight full-time anthropologists, offering Baccalaureate (BA) degree as the highest anthropology degree granted, offering an average of 58 undergraduate and 35 graduate courses.
1998 Survey (PDF)

1997 AAA Survey of Anthropology PhDs
Department Services Program Report
The age of doctoral recipients in anthropology has steadily increased from 34 years in 1973 to 40 in 1995. Minority presentation in anthropology-PhD cohorts increased from 13% in 1990 to 15% in 1997. Women anthropology-PhD cohorts increased from 32% in the 1972 cohort to 57% of the 1997 PhD cohorts.
1997 Survey

1996 Biennial Survey of Anthropology Departments in the US
Department Services Program Report
The modal academic anthropologist in 1996 is a white male, full professor, nearing retirement, whose principal subfield is sociocultural anthropology. The modal US program employs five full-time anthropologists in a joint sociology/anthropology department, offering a BA as its highest anthropology degree. Despite a chilly academic climate, BA and MA degrees in anthropology each have risen 30% above rates measured two years ago. Meanwhile, the number of doctoral degrees awarded in anthropology in 1995 rose 16% over 1994.
1996 Survey

1995 Survey of PhD Recipients
Department Services Program Report
In 1950, 22 anthropology PhDs were awarded in America. In 1974, 409 anthropology doctorates were awarded, and PhD production exceeded 400 for the first time. During the last 20 years, PhD production has held remarkably stable with the figure for 1995 at 464. From 1948 to 1994, 10,659 anthropology doctorates have been awarded by North American universities listed in the Association's AAA Guide.
1995 Survey

1990 Survey of Anthropology PhDs
Department Services Program Report
Members of the 1989-90 anthropology class earn more money, both in academic and non-academic positions, than their 1987-88 colleagues; are more likely to have tenure or be in a tenure-track position than previous cohorts; and face a lower employment rate than the 1985-86 and 1987-88 cohorts.
1990 Survey (PDF)

1989 Survey of Departments
Department Services Program Report
There is a reason for cautious optimism as academic anthropology enters a new decade. The steep decline of the late 70s and the early 80s have been halted, and undergraduate anthropology’s health is on the mend
1989 Survey (PDF)

1986 Survey of Anthropology PhDs
Department Services Program Report
Most men and women in the class of 1985-86 trained to to become academic scholars but the majority found professional employment outside of the classroom.
1986 Survey (PDF)

1979 Survey of Departments
Department Services Program Report
New features were added to the report, the breakdown of faculty now includes information on subfields, in addition to salary, sex, rank and minority status.
1979 Survey (PDF)

1978 Survey of Departments
Department Services Program Report
For comparative purposes, data are broken down by three degree levels. PhD departments are further categorized by size; Master departments by free standing and join; Bachelors departments are divided by type of institution.
1978 Survey (PDF)

1977 Survey of Departments
Department Services Program Report
The first annual AAA Survey of Departments was designed to provide information on characteristics of anthropology departments.
1977 Survey (DSP)

The Minority Experience in Anthropology
The Committee on Minorities and Anthropology
The Survey was conducted in 1973 to aid in responding to the question, why are there so few minority anthropologists?
1973 Minority Survey