Women Make Half as Much as Men in Some States

Commentary about business and finance.
Oct. 18 2012 12:05 PM

Map Shows the Worst State for Women To Make Money

Gender income inequality by state and county.

Show State Map
Show County Map

At the second presidential debate, one of the town hall participants posed a question to the candidates that surprised some journalists: “In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”

In a sense, the question is surprising. Jobs, the deficit, and Libya have ruled this election. When it comes to women, the candidates have stuck to flashpoints like abortion and reproductive health insurance. The maps above show, however, that the question shouldn’t surprise anyone at all. In every state, women make a fraction of what men make. In some counties, they make half as much—or less.

Women in Utah have it the worst. There, the average working woman makes 55 cents for every dollar the average working man makes. The state is followed closely by Wyoming, at 56 cents; Louisiana, at 59 cents; North Dakota, at 62 cents; and Michigan, at 62 cents. The best states for income equality are Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Maryland, and North Carolina. In each, women make about three-fourths of what men make.

Advertisement

County-level data illustrate the best cities for pay equality: Washington, D.C. and Dallas lead, followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Santa Fe, New York, and Boston. In each, women make at least 80 cents per dollar that men make. In most other major cities, they make about 70 cents.

Methodology: The maps show the ratio between the median income of women and the median income of men, among men and women employed in 2010, for each state or county, as estimated in the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey five-year estimates.

Update: The county-level map was not loading for many Firefox users. We've since fixed the issue. Please let us know in the comments section below if you are experiencing problems. If it's not working for you, you can view the map here.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.