If all the married couples in the United States competed in a “bringing home the bacon” contest, gay men in same-sex marriages would be the clear-cut winners.
With an average household income of $176,000, married gay men in the United States earn roughly 56 percent more money than their married heterosexual counterparts ($113,000) and 42 percent more than married lesbian couples ($124,000).
That’s according to new data from the Treasury Department, which provide the most accurate snapshot to date of same-sex marriages in the U.S., including where same-sex couples live and how much money they earn.
The Treasury Department also found that in 2014, married men with children far outpaced all other married couples’ earnings — raking in nearly $275,000 on average.
According to The New York Times, the Treasury Department’s analysis says the income disparity between married heterosexuals and married same-sex couples can be attributed to several factors.
For example, same-sex couples are more inclined to live on the coasts and in major metropolitan areas, while average earnings tend to be higher than other regions of the U.S.
The impact of the gender pay gap is also clear. The Times says:
The math here is simple — for heterosexual couples, the gender pay gap affects one partner. For same-sex female couples, the gender pay gap affects both partners.
Also, the cost of child care can be a bigger burden on couples where at least one of the partners is female.
The Treasury Department also found that same-sex female couples are four times more likely than their married gay male peers to have children, which means those women are forced to try and balance a career and family or trade one for the other.
“Combine that with the likelihood of lower pay to begin with, and you start to understand why the income differences are so large,” explains the Times.
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