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The Gender Pay Gap by the Numbers

April 2 was Equal Pay Day. That means women had to work all of 2018 and until this day in 2019 to catch up with what men earned in 2018 alone. No matter what their job, how much education or experience they have, or the number of hours they worked, women are still paid less than men.1 Get the facts about the gender pay gap and its impact on women and their families.

By the numbers

On average, women in the U.S. are paid 20% less than men.2

If you break it down by race and ethnicity, the gap is even worse.

Black women are paid 39% less and Latinas are paid 47% less than white men.3

Any way you look at it, there’s a pay gap for women.

When you control for important factors such as education, experience, industry, occupation, role, and hours worked, the pay gap still exists.4

Women do negotiate

Women are asking for raises at about the same rates as men, but on average they’re paid less than men in similar roles.5

The pay gap actually widens for women at higher education levels.7

The gap is largest for women who have bachelor’s and advanced degrees.

1 in 3 Nearly 1 in 3 Americans is not aware of the pay gap between women and men.8

The pay gap starts early.

As soon as age 16, girls are paid less than boys the same age—and the gap only grows from there.9

16% Only 16% of Americans think companies are doing enough to close the gender pay gap.10

The gap hurts women and families.

Lower earnings for women often mean less money for their families. This impacts families’ ability to buy groceries, pay for childcare, invest in their children’s education, and more.11

75% Almost 75% of Americans think it would be a major problem or crisis if they earned 20% less money.12

If women were paid fairly… … the average woman would earn over $400,000 more during the course of her career.13

If women were paid fairly… … each woman’s extra annual earnings would pay off her student loan debt in just under three years.14

16% Only 16% of Americans think companies are doing enough to close the gender pay gap.10

“Equal pay for women is critical, but the pay gap is only part of a larger problem. Women face an uneven playing field in the workplace: they are less likely to be hired and promoted, receive less support from managers, and get less access to senior leaders.”

The pay gap is also hurting women globally.

On average, women are paid 23% less than men worldwide.15

  • 20% United States
  • 17% United Kingdom
  • 11% Pakistan 19
  • 22% Israel 18
  • 35% Republic of Korea
  • 17% Botswana 22
  • 39% Malawi 21
  • 11% Mexico
  • 16% Brazil 17
  • 21% Chile
  • 9% Poland
  • 24% Russia 20
  • 14% Australia

50 ways to fight bias

Bias—whether deliberate or unconscious—contributes to the gender pay gap. It makes it harder for women to advance and negatively impacts their day-to-day work experiences. To combat bias in your workplace, try 50 Ways to Fight Bias, a card-based activity that highlights 50 specific examples of bias at work — and offers research-backed recommendations for what to do about it.

Learn More


  1. Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn, “The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations,” No. w21913 (2016), National Bureau of Economic Research,
  2. Ariane Hegewisch and Emma Williams-Baron, “The Gender Wage Gap: 2017; Earnings Differences by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity,” IWPR #C459 (September 2018),
  3. Ibid.
  4. Blau and Kahn, “The Gender Wage Gap.”
  5. LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2018 (October 2018),
  6. The graphic showing incomes for women and men in different occupations uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement: Table PINC-10: Wage and Salary Workers—People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Wage and Salary Income, Work Experience, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex. Retrieved September 27, 2018, from; National Partnership for Women & Families calculations based on the median annual pay for women and men (any race) who worked in 2017.
  7. AAUW, The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap (fall 2018),
  8. SurveyMonkey and Lean In conducted three online polls among a national sample of adults in the United States age eighteen and older. The first was conducted June 29–July 4, 2018, among 2,950 adults; the second was conducted July 13–18, 2018, among 4,217 adults; and the third was conducted September 21–27, 2018, among 3,051 adults. The modeled error estimate for both surveys is +/-2 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age eighteen and over. Learn more.
  9. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Weekly and hourly earnings data from the Current Population Survey” (July 2018),
  10. SurveyMonkey poll, March 22–27, 2018.
  11. National Partnership for Women & Families, “America’s Women and the Wage Gap” (April 2018),; “Black Women and the Wage Gap” (April 2018),; “Latinas and the Wage Gap” (April 2018),
  12. SurveyMonkey poll, March 22–27, 2018.
  13. National Partnership for Women and Families, The Lifetime Wage Gap, State by State, (April 2018),
  14. Ibid.
  15. United Nations Women, “Wage Gap” (Feb 2017),
  16. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “Gender wage gap” (2018), All global pay gap data is from this source unless otherwise noted.
  17. International Labour Organization, “Gender wage gap by occupation” (2018),
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. United Nations Development Programme, “Africa Human Development Report 2016” (2016),
  22. Ibid.