The States With The Widest Gender Pay Gaps

Women earn considerably less than men on average. How does your state measure up?

Happy Equal Pay Day!

Or should we be wishing you a Depressing Equal Pay Day?

Women earn an average of 78.3 cents for every $1 a man earns in the U.S., according to an analysis by CNN Money.

Such findings echo those of an earlier report from the U.S. Census Bureau, which found that women receive around $39,000 in median annual earnings, while men earn around $50,000.

When the CNN-reported national average of 78.3 cents is broken down by state, it drops as low as 65.9 cents, a dubious distinction that belongs to Louisiana.

CNN’s breakdown was calculated by the National Women’s Law Center based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey. The dollar amounts are for full-time, year-round workers.

Highest (all states above 85 cents):

  1. Washington, D.C.: 91.3 cents
  2. New York: 85.8 cents
  3. Maryland: 85.5 cents

Lowest (all states below 75 cents):

  1. Oklahoma: 74.9 cents
  2. Nebraska: 74.1 cents
  3. Indiana: 73.8 cents
  4. Montana: 73.5 cents
  5. North Dakota: 70.2 cents
  6. Utah: 69.9 cents
  7. West Virginia: 69.4 cents
  8. Wyoming: 69.3 cents
  9. Louisiana: 65.9 cents

The effects of gender wage gaps are felt on more than just paydays, though.

As American Women executive director Kate Black and National Public Pension Coalition executive director Bailey Childers wrote at CNN.com today:

When women make only 78 cents to every dollar men earn, it has a lasting impact over a woman’s lifetime. It’s easy to see why women don’t have the same kinds of savings to retire on.

Perhaps it’s also easy to see why women are twice as likely to retire into poverty, as CNN reports.

According to a congressional analysis of Census data, women over age 64 rely on a median annual income of around $16,000, whereas men that age have a cushion of around $27,000. Plus, women’s retirement income usually needs to last longer, considering that women live longer than men on average.

What’s your take on the gender pay gap? Sound off in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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