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Gender Gap in Wages Persists Across Education Levels

Despite comparable education levels, women still lag behind their male counterparts in earning power by significant margins, according to the US Census Bureau. The disparity persists across racial/ethnic groups as well, with white men earning more than all other groups, black and Hispanic men earning more than all women, and white and black women earning more than Hispanic women.

Compared with similarly educated white men, white women and black women with bachelor’s degrees earn 46 percent less, and Hispanic women earn about 50 percent less. The gap narrows some when comparing men and women with postdoctoral degrees–white women earn 35 percent less than white men. Among high school graduates, white and black women earn about 48 percent less than white men, and Hispanic women earn 51 percent less than white men. Black men and Hispanic men earn 26 percent and 19 percent less than white men, respectively.

The gap between college-educated men and women has widened in the past ten years. White women with bachelor’s degrees earned 43 percent less than white men in 1991 and black women made only 36 percent less, compared with 46 percent now for both groups. The gap between high school graduates has also increased, with white women in 1991 earning 42 percent less than white men, black women earning 45 percent less, and Hispanic women earning 44 percent less.

Sources:

Census Bureau 3/21/03; Associated Press 3/21/03; Feminist Majority Foundation