(NEXSTAR) – The years go on, yet one societal problem remains relatively unchanged: the wage gap between men and women. A recent Pew Research Center analysis found the pay gap has stayed stubbornly stable for the past 20 years.
MoneyGeek, a personal finance site, used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey to determine where the pay gap is worst in the U.S.
What’s the gender wage gap in Denver?
The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area ranked 65 on the list, with women ages 30-49 earning 84% of what men their age earned.
The study shows the wage gap seems to be improving for younger generations. Women 50 and older in the Denver metro area earned just 75% of what their male counterparts make, while those aged 16-29 earned 95%.
Here are how other Colorado cities ranked among the 262 metropolitan areas:
- Colorado Springs: 82%, ranking 111th
- Fort Collins: 79%, ranking 164th
- Grand Junction: 77%, ranking 190th
- Pueblo: 84%, ranking 57th
Which US state ranks worse for the wage gap?
At the very bottom ranks Wyoming, where women on average make about 69% as much as men do.
Researchers at the University of Wyoming took a look at the state’s gender wage gap earlier this month. They use a slightly different methodology but came to the same conclusion: Wyoming ranks dead last.
“Regardless of methodology, Wyoming consistently ranks last or near last in wage gap analyses, even when adjusted for cost of living and regional prices. Over the course of a year, this wage gap results in an estimated loss of $1.5 billion to the Wyoming economy,” economists Anne Alexander and Chian Jones Ritten said in their report. “The average working woman in Wyoming loses enough money during a year from the gender wage gap to buy a total of 108 more weeks of food, 12 more months of mortgage and utilities payments, 21 more months of rent or 8,402 additional gallons of gas.”
The nationwide average is better, but a gap still exists. Women in the U.S. typically make about 83% of what men earn annually. The gap is even wider for Latina and Black women.
One contributing factor, Pew’s analysis found, is the fact that women are overrepresented in low-wage work. A majority of women polled also said they believe employers’ discrimination plays a role.
15 worst US states for gender pay equity
The worst 15 states for gender pay equity, according to MoneyGeek’s analysis of Census and BLS data, are seen in the chart below.
|State||Women’s pay (as % of men’s)||Men’s median annual pay||Women’s median annual pay|
Meanwhile, the states with the smallest pay gaps between men and women include Vermont, Alaska, New York, California and Maryland.
Even in Vermont, which ranked No. 1, total parity has not been achieved. Women still make about 93% of men’s earnings, on average.
While the pay gap has narrowed in the United States in recent years, that’s not necessarily the case for women around the world.
In the Philippines, hundreds of protesters marked International Women’s Day by rallying in Manila for higher wages and decent jobs.
“We are seeing the widest gender pay gap,” protest leader Joms Salvador said. “We are seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of women workers who are in informal work without any protection.”
Elsewhere, tens of thousands of people marched in Paris and other French cities, brandishing posters with the messages “Equal Pay, Now” and “Solidarity with the world’s women.” The rallies focused on protesting proposed changes to the pension system, which women’s group say are unfair to working mothers.
The Associated Press and FOX31’s Lanie Lee Cook contributed to this report.