Where Is the Gender Gap Worst?

  • The American Gender Gap

    If it feels like a long time since anyone spoke about the gender gap in the U.S., that’s probably a testament to the progress that has been made in recent years to overcome it. The number of women in the workforce is significantly higher now than it was in the 1970s, with women currently making up about 47% of workers in the U.S. Moreover, the Department of Labor now predicts that women will occupy the majority of new jobs created between now and 2018, leading to the possibility of a complete reversal of the gender gap altogether. Meanwhile, employed women have on average seen their compensation catch up to that of their male peers, going from earning roughly 59% of what men did in the early 1960s to earning 78.2% of the average male salary, according to 2009 census data. Of course, 78% is still a long way from equal pay, and in some parts of the country the gap is actually much worse. Photo Credit: WikiCommons.org
    Where the Gender Gap is Worst
  • Where the Gender Gap is Worst

    The only part of the U.S. that can reliably claim to have eliminated the gender gap is Puerto Rico, where women actually earned about 3% more than men in 2009, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau. On the mainland, the region that comes closest to this achievement is the District of Columbia, where women earned 88% of what men did in 2009. As for the rest of the country, the pay difference was generally more severe. States along the East Coast and in the Southwest tended to show the smallest gaps, with women earning 78% to 82% of what their male counterparts made in 2009. By contrast, women living in most of the states in the Northwest and Central regions of the country earned less than three quarters the salary of what men in their region did that year. In some states, that number was actually closer to 65%, little improved from the national average of 59% some 50 years ago. The numbers are based on the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey, which periodically interviews some 3 million households across the country for economic and demographic information. (As a caveat, it’s worth noting that the survey only factors in adults 16 and older who worked full time during the year.) What is particularly disturbing about the states at the bottom of the list is that in half of them, the gender gap actually became wider between 2008 and 2009. So, many of the states on this list are, at least for the time being, going in the wrong direction in pushing for gender equality. Photo Credit: wilpf.org
    10th Worst Gender Gap: Iowa
  • 10th Worst Gender Gap: Iowa

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 73.7% Year-over-year change: -2.8% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $31,431 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $42,634 Photo Credit: Nicholas_T
    9th Worst Gender Gap: North Dakota
  • 9th Worst Gender Gap: North Dakota

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 73.1% Year-Over-Year Change: +1.4% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $29,742 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $40,693 Photo Credit: afiler
    8th Worst Gender Gap: Indiana
  • 8th Worst Gender Gap: Indiana

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 72.8% Year-Over-Year Change: +1.7% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $31,762 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $43,631 Photo Credit: blmurch
    7th Worst Gender Gap: Idaho
  • 7th Worst Gender Gap: Idaho

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 72% Year-Over-Year Change: +0.3% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $29,122 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $40,440 Photo Credit: Amanderson2
    6th Worst Gender Gap: Michigan
  • 6th Worst Gender Gap: Michigan

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 71.9% Year-Over-Year Change: -0.5% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $34,542 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $48,066 Photo Credit: femaletrumpet2
    5th Worst Gender Gap: Montana
  • 5th Worst Gender Gap: Montana

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 71.5% Year-Over-Year Change: -5.6% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $28,461 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $39,830 Photo Credit: gene1138
    4th Worst Gender Gap: West Virginia
  • 4th Worst Gender Gap: West Virginia

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 69.2% Year-Over-Year Change: +2.1% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $27,855 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $40,231 Photo Credit: bradwicklund
    3rd Worst Gender Gap: Utah
  • 3rd Worst Gender Gap: Utah

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 68.1% Year-Over-Year Change: -1.2% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $31,386 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $45,800 Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography
    2nd Worst Gender Gap: Louisiana
  • 2nd Worst Gender Gap: Louisiana

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 66.4% Year-Over-Year Change: -0.9% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $29,350 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $44,174 Photo Credit: The Pug Father
    The Worst Gender Gap: Wyoming
  • The Worst Gender Gap: Wyoming

    Women’s Earnings as % of Men’s in 2009: 65.5% Year-Over-Year Change: +1.2% Average Salary for Women in 2009: $31,308 Average Salary for Men in 2009: $47,828 Photo Credit: Whatley Dude
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