Infographic: The Gender Pay Gap


Written by Matt Separa

Stark pay differences between men and women remain in this country. In 2010 women made on average only about 77 cents for every dollar men made. While this number is up from 58.8 cents per dollar earned by men in 1975, it remains a far cry from the point where women make equal pay for equal work. And while critics of the movement for pay equity often dismiss the gender pay gap as one due completely to occupational and lifestyle choices, a rigorous analysis of data by labor economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn found that over 40 percent of the pay gap cannot be explained by such differences, concluding that “there is evidence that…discrimination does still continue to exist.”

But the gender pay gap isn’t just an issue of fairness. It is also a question of economic empowerment, both for working women and for their families. In 2010 the median full-time working man took home $47,715 in earnings, while the median full-time working woman made only $36,931—77.4 percent of that amount, or $10,784 less.

Because of this gap women working full time are able to afford less education, housing, transportation, food, and health care for themselves and their families than their male counterparts. As a result women and female-headed households are more likely to be in poverty and less likely to have health insurance. The pay gap translates into a significant economic disadvantage for women and their families, especially when nearly two-thirds (63.9 percent) of women are now either the primary breadwinner or a co-breadwinner, bringing home at least 25 percent of their family’s income.

Examine the infographics below to see what women and their families could afford annually and over a 40-year career if the gender pay gap did not exist. What could you do with an extra $10,784 per year, or an extra $431,360 over 40 years?


This post was originally published by the Center for American Progress.

Related Stories:

Facing the Wage Gap as a Female College Grad

Where Does Your State Rank in Equal Pay?

Wisconsin Equal Pay Law Repealed Because “Money Is More Important For Men”


Photo from Wikimedia Commons via public domain


Bruce C D.
Bruce C D4 years ago

I believe their is a gender wage gap (also a minority wage gap), and I support the ERA and any other measures that will address those things. I also support the Center for American Progress, and thought their study that ranked the states and examined other items pertaining to women's equality besides pay was great. Except the 77% figure widely used is misleading, which I would categorize as dishonest in the way it is being used, and I don't support dishonesty. I feel such dishonesty only works to hurt this noble cause. With the facts on our side, there is no need for misrepresentations.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke6 years ago

There are more women than men, and we control the "purse strings" of America - we do the shopping, we make big decisions. Maybe women should simply take over America - and run it right! Too bad there are too many men in America - too many that would push their way and force women to do their bidding.

Women deserve equal pay for equal work. Its wrong to take this away from women who must deal with raising their families after DEAD BEAT DADS won't pay up their fair share to help raise those children.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia6 years ago

i really have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of people getting paid less for the same amount of education, skill and work because of what group they belong to. the only thing thats even harder for me to understand is people who dont think sexism exists.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams6 years ago

If you want to keep it this way for women vote for republicans.

Penny C.
penny C6 years ago


Stefanie D.
Stefanie D.6 years ago

They should make all 'pay' and 'payrates' subject to standardized 'pay for work done for a particular skill' where everyone can have a 'pay account' that is identical according to the work done, and such accounts (of various paid skilled job tasks) are ISSUED to individuals, so nobody has a 'gender extra' version of the account. thus genderless pay accounts. and no 'name' need to be attached but a mere 'id' unique to that person (where the id cannot identify that person in terms of either age or gender or sex or race). exception is the difference between adults and minors (pre-post secondary schooling age)

Sue Jones
Sue Jones6 years ago

I never thought that 40 years later, we would still be fighting the same battles. But, when we're young and idealistic, we think societal change comes over night. I know now it takes about 3 generations for new ideas to become ingrained. Sigh. Maybe my granddaughters will benefit from the equality wars we fought a generation ago.

Deborah F.
Deborah F6 years ago

Great graphics. I had the same problem as most women in the 50's & 60's. When questioning why women made less than men, it was explained to me that men have to support a family. What did they think I wanted to do? I wanted to support myself and my siblings! The answer I was given was that I needed to find a man to marry me and my income was simply supplemental. It was hogwash then and still is.

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

Women will achieve equal pay as more and more men are let go because they are too expensive. When the financial collapse first occurred the female labor force took prominence because the men were too expensive and were the first to be let go. As the collapse widened during the Obama administration more and more women began to lose their jobs. The Republicans are having a field day pointing out such losses. It all stems from the out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs invented and cheered on by the Republican party.

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

Tax breaks for the“job creators,” cannot work in a “global economy.” The jobs being created are those being sent overseas. That is the incentive. Innovation and job creation won’t stop the artificial removal of jobs from the U.S. and therefore cannot create national prosperity. Education will not help either. The price differential for the educated is equally disparate and those jobs are already being sent over seas.

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should fall on their swords. It is the underlying cause of the financial collapse and borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base. Yet, this nation does nothing, not even demand it be restricted or disincentivized by whatever method. International businesses are doing the UN-AMERICAN activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire in the U.S., and as an end result, destroying the U.S. marketplace while still demanding BUSINESS ENTITLEMENTS and protections for themselves.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not replace enough jobs to keep up with the hemorrhaging loss of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing over seas. Neither party will do anything about it without grass roots efforts of protest. If nothing is done we will deserve what we get and it will get a lot worse before it gets better.