This Map Gives Your State A Letter Grade Based On Its Gender Pay Gap

How many times have you heard the stat that women make around 80 cents for every dollar a man makes? Currently, the number is around 82 cents — and it’s calculated by comparing the median annual earnings of women working full-time to the median annual earnings of men working full-time. Other calculations can differ slightly if they use median hourly pay, including part-time workers in the data.
While it’s a useful starting point, ultimately this broad view obscures just how wide the pay gap is for some groups of women. It varies greatly by race (for example, Latinx women make around 54 cents for every dollar a white man makes), and it also varies greatly by state.

Ahead, we’ve broken down how women fare in different states around the country, based on data analyzed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, as part of its Employment & Earnings Index. The rankings were determined not only by the pay-gap ratio with men in that state, but also the annual median earnings of women, the percent of working-age women who participate in the labor force, and the level of representation in professional and managerial occupations. For the full picture, see the IWPR’s report here.

The Best States For Women

1. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital gets the only A grade in the country. Though its gender pay ratio isn’t the best in the country — women make about 86.7% of what men make, and the gap is narrower in states like California and New York — it ranks first in the other metrics: Median annual earnings for women working full-time are $65,000; 67.4% participate in the labor force; and 60.7% of full-time working women are employed in professional or managerial positions.
2. Maryland
Median annual earnings: $50,000
Earnings ratio: 83.3%
Labor-force participation: 64.1%
Professional and managerial jobs: 47.8%
3. Massachusetts
Median annual earnings: $50,000
Earnings ratio: 80.6%
Labor-force participation: 63.5%
Professional and managerial jobs: 49.4%
4. Connecticut
Median annual earnings: $50,000
Earnings ratio: 76.9%
Labor-force participation: 62.8%
Professional and managerial jobs: 45.9%
5. New York
Median annual earnings: $47,500
Earnings ratio: 89.6%
Labor-force participation: 58.3%
Professional and managerial jobs: 44.6%

The Worst States For Women

47. Alabama
Median annual earnings: $34,400
Earnings ratio: 74.8%
Labor-force participation: 53.2%
Professional and managerial jobs: 39.4%
48. Louisiana
Median annual earnings: $34,500
Earnings ratio: 69.0%
Labor-force participation: 56.1%
Professional and managerial jobs: 39.6%
49. Idaho
Median annual earnings: $34,000
Earnings ratio: 75.6%
Labor-force participation: 54.9%
Professional and managerial jobs: 36.7%
50. West Virginia
Median annual earnings: $33,300
Earnings ratio: 74%
Labor-force participation: 50.2%
Professional and managerial jobs: 39.9%
51. Mississippi
Mississippi ranks last in the IWPR’s analysis. Women working full-time earn a median of $31,300 a year, making about 74.5% of what men do. Working-age women are participating in the labor force at 53.4%, and of those, only 37.4% hold professional or managerial occupations. In addition to ranking last on the Earnings & Employment Index, Mississippi is also last on the IWPR’s Poverty & Opportunity Index, which looks at how many women live above poverty, have health care, have a college education, and are business owners. As of 2015, 21.9% of women 18 and older lived in poverty, and only 23.9% of women 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree. Mississippi is the only state to not have a single equal-pay law in place.
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