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Reuters/Robert Galbraith
(Un)happy Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.
TWO CENTS

America’s gender wage gap is worse the closer you look at it

By Annalisa Merelli

The gender wage gap in America, it is often quoted, is 20%—meaning that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes $0.80. That is true, but only if you’re taking a broad look at it.

It turns out the gap varies quite a bit when you start comparing between—and within—ethnicities. For instance, the gap between black women and black men is smaller, at 14%, while the gap between Asian women and men is 25%. Nationwide, most penalized are Hispanic women, who make $0.55 for every dollar a white male makes, and for every $0.65 a Hispanic male makes.

Geography also matters. In Louisiana, the state with the least equality, women overall make $0.70 to the dollar; in New York, where the gap is smaller, they make nearly $0.90.

Even just within the state of New York, there are nuances to consider. In New York City, for example, wage disparity is higher than in the rest of the state, especially when it comes to race. A new report by the New York City comptroller shows that black women in the city make only $0.57 per every dollar a white man earns, based on analysis of census data from 2010 to 2016.

This is a terrible gap, and yet it doesn’t tell the worst of the story.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW), which used a different data set from the American Community Survey, limited to 2016, found that while black women in New York City make only $0.53 to the white male dollar, Hispanic women make an even more meager $0.43.

And New York isn’t even the worst city for disparity—far from it. In San Francisco, black women earn just $0.47 per every dollar a white man makes. But even this doesn’t compare with the astounding disparity of earning experienced by Hispanic women. In Houston, where it’s most marked, Hispanic women male just about a third of a white men: $0.35 to every dollar.

Wage disparity between genders in US cities (cents to every dollar earned by white men)

City Latinas Black White Asian
Houston 35 52 68 73
Washington, D.C. 37 56 76 69
San Francisco 39 47 76 64
Los Angeles 39 54 77 65
Dallas 41 56 76 72
Chicago 43 57 73 86
New York 44 53 76 74
Seattle 48 55 75 75
Philadelphia 48 56 77 76
Miami 51 53 77 72
Phoenix 52 59 78 86