Amid the continuing discussions about the gender wage gap, most of the debate centers around how much more men earn than women. The conventional wisdom, based on U.S. Census data, is that women earn 78% of what men make. Now a new study by the San Francisco-based financial literacy website NerdWallet shows that in 20 cities across the U.S., women earn more than men.
This finding is striking, given that it uses the same data, from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, that show the 78% figure nationwide. Critics have pointed out that the 78% number fails to take into account education levels, profession or hours worked. They suggest that if you adjust for those criteria, the gap will reduce dramatically or disappear.
But this new study doesn’t make any of those adjustments and still finds that there are places where women earn more than men. The No. 1 spot: Inglewood, CA, a city in southwest Angeles County where 44% of the population is African-American and 51% is Latino. The median income there, at just $25,700, is below the national median of $28,800. But in Inglewood women make 120.6% of men’s wages. In Trenton, NJ, the median earnings are even lower, at $21,800, but women make 118.2% of men’s wages. Only six cities on the list have median earnings that are higher than the national average. All of that suggests that when it comes to low-wage work, women do better than men. But there are some impressive exceptions like Silver Spring, MD, where the median is $40,800. A suburb of Washington, DC it has a number of government and corporate offices like Discovery Communications DISCA +1.73% and a branch of the Food and Drug Administration.
This list doesn’t exactly inspire optimism for women, given the low wages across the board. But it shows that at least when it comes to low median incomes, women are doing as well as men.
One other impressive statistic from a study I wrote about last week from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a Washington, DC think tank. When it comes to millennials in New York City, women make $1.02 for every dollar earned by men. What’s more, a widely reported 2010 study by James Chung, president of a New York strategy and analytics firm, showed that childless women between the ages of 22 and 30 earn 8% more than men in that same demographic. Chung attributed the disparity to the fact that women are 1.5 times more likely to get a college degree than men. As women age and, their pay advantage over men disappears. I’m sure we’ll continue to debate the extent to which the lack of family-friendly policies, women’s choices and, yes, sexism, plays a role.
Culled from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2015/04/07/top-cities-where-women-earn-more-than-men/
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