Personal Finance

Here's where the gender pay gap is the greatest

Key Points
  • Overall, women still earn about 20 percent less than their male counterparts.
  • That shortfall can vary widely depending on where you live.
  • In Utah, for example, women only make about 57 cents for every dollar a man does.
Closing the gender pay gap
Closing the gender pay gap

A woman makes about 80 cents for every dollar a man does nationwide, but that shortfall can vary widely depending on where you live.

A new report by GOBankingRates determined pay gaps between men and women across each state by analyzing data from the Census Bureau's 2016 American Community Survey. The study compared overall pay levels but not by job category.

In some states, like Wyoming and Utah, women make only a little more than half what their male counterparts earn — in part because the jobs in those areas are weighted heavily toward the energy-producing industry.

And there's no state in the country where earnings between the genders are equal, GoBankingRates found.

"In every single state, women are earning less," said Cameron Huddleston, a life and money expert for GoBankingRates, "and, in most states, women are earning less in every career field."

In Washington, D.C., which comes the closest to parity, women earn 83 cents on the dollar. (See map below.)

Much of the gap has been explained by criteria such as education and work experience — women are more likely to work part time and take time off over the course of their careers, often to care for children or other family members, according to the Pew Research Center.

But there are other factors that are more difficult to measure, like gender discrimination, which may contribute to the ongoing wage discrepancy, Pew said.

The pay gap also varies greatly by industry, and massive pay gaps persist for minorities, particularly African-American women, Native American and Latina women.

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