Gender Pay Gap: 2021

by Trends Staff

Most Americans are aware of the Decennial Census conducted every 10 years by the US Census Bureau. This survey helps provide an official count of the population and determines congressional representation. The American Community Survey (ACS) on the other hand, is conducted every year and is sent out to a large sample of addresses. This survey is more involved, as it asks recipients about topics such as education, employment, housing, ancestry, and other selected social characteristics. This self-reported information helps generate data that impacts federal distribution of funds each year.

A recently published Census Interactive Gallery portrays the difference in median earnings between men and women. The visualization uses ACS survey data for individuals who worked full-time, for 12 months during 2021. Median earnings for women were $49,532(±$192), while the median earnings for men was $60,775(±$860, making the national earnings wage gap $11,243 (±$210) for that year.

The interactive map shows wage gaps throughout America though shades of blue. Darker shades represent larger disparities in income between men and women. The lightest shade indicates results obtained were found be not statistically different.

Unfortunately, Washington State has one of the largest pay gaps in the country at $17,126 (±$1,536). By clicking on the state, users can see the largest selected occupations for male and female workers as well as the corresponding median earnings. The largest occupations for men in Washington were driver/sales workers and truck drivers, managers, and software developers. The largest occupations for female workers were elementary and middle school teachers, managers, and registered nurses. Interestingly, male managers ($122,335) show a higher median wage when compared to women ($101,858). This suggests that the wage gap is evident within a given profession. This is further illustrated by the comparison of the highlighted largest occupation in Washington, software developer, where for women the wage gap is even larger.

Have questions about the survey? The ACS site offers answers to frequently asked questions such as the legitimacy of the survey and the methods used to obtain resulting estimates.