States with the Highest Gender Pay Gaps in America—And the Lowest
All is (not) fair in wages and salary, depending on where you live. Here are the states with the highest and lowest gender pay gap, according to a recent Zippia study.
Highest gender pay gap: Alabama
Alabama’s gender pay gap, which is the difference between how much men and women make, is 25.4 percent, according to the Zippia study. That could be attributed to the fact that the southern state is one of only two states (along with Mississippi) that haven’t passed any of the gender equality laws recommended by the American Association of University Women. If you’re a working woman looking for a raise, here’s how to ask for one the right way.
Highest gender pay gap: Idaho
While the current gender pay gap in Idaho (25.5 percent) has been decreasing since 2010, it’s still higher than the national average of 21 percent. Chris Kolmar of Zippia explains that even “when you control for the same job at the same level at the same company, there really shouldn’t be any gap at that level of comparison, so that’s all gender bias playing a role.”
Highest gender pay gap: Oklahoma
In 2017, the median salary for a full-time working man in Oklahoma was $46,114, compared to $35,488 for full-time working women. And two years later, the state’s gender pay gap is now up to 25.5 percent and unfortunately is even larger for women of color.
Highest gender pay gap: Montana
At 25.5 percent, Montana has the same gender pay gap as Idaho and Oklahoma. But the state, like many others, has found that that inequity varies based on the type of job. For instance, in Montana, government workers face the narrowest gap of 15 percent, while private for-profit workers face the largest of 32 percent.
Highest gender pay gap: Indiana
It isn’t just the state of Indiana as a whole that ranks low for equal pay with a gap of 26 percent—the central Indiana region also came in sixth of the 25 major metropolitan areas across the United States with the worst gender pay gaps. Only Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit had a higher disparity in wages between men and women.
Highest gender pay gap: North Dakota
A gender pay gap of 26.9 percent may not seem all that bad…until you look at it big picture. In North Dakota, for instance, full-time working women lose a total of more than $3 billion dollars a year due to income inequity, which amounts to 19 additional months of rent or nearly two additional years of child care.
Highest gender pay gap: Wyoming
Wyoming may have the fourth-worst gender pay gap, at 29 percent, but it isn’t all bad news for the seemingly ironically named Equality State. Of all 50 states, Wyoming has seen the biggest increase in wages for women, jumping nearly 7 percent since 2010. Here are 16 more ways women still aren’t equal to men in the United States.
Highest gender pay gap: Utah
Despite research that’s shown that women make the best bosses, Utah’s working women still aren’t making as much as their male counterparts. The state has the second-highest gender pay gap in the United States at 29.8 percent, meaning that women earn 70 cents to every dollar earned by men.
Highest gender pay gap: Louisiana
“A big driver in the variation between states has to do with additional state-level gender discrimination and equal pay laws that go above and beyond the federal Equal Pay Law of 1963,” Kolmar explains, adding that Louisiana’s highest gender wage gap “coincides with the lack of any additional gender pay laws apart from the Federal Equal Pay Law.” At 31.1 percent, Louisiana has the highest gender pay gap in the United States.