The Pay Gap in 25 Major U.S. Cities

No matter how you break it down — by state, age, education, race or occupation — the gender wage gap is pervasive. Here’s a look at the gap in major metropolitan areas.

This map provides a breakdown of the 2018 pay gap in 25 major metropolitan areas*. These figures reflect the gap between men and women working full time, year-round.

The gender pay gaps in major U.S. metropolitan areas seem similar to the national gender pay ratio of 83%, though on average urban areas have slightly smaller gaps and rural areas have larger gaps. The metropolitan area with the smallest gender pay gap in this study is Los Angeles, with a gender pay ratio of 91%, and the largest is Detroit, with a ratio of 75%. The largest dollar gap between men’s and women’s median annual earnings is also in Detroit, where men were paid $16,579 more annually than women.

These new metro-based data supplement AAUW’s existing research on the gender pay gap, headlined by our report The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, which breaks down data to help explain the factors contributing to the gender pay gap. Our state road maps lay out the legislative actions necessary to achieve equal pay on the state level, and our reporting delves deeper into specific pay gap ratios, including the pay ratios for Latinas (55%), Asian women (87%), Black women (63%), American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) women (60%), and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NHPI) women (63%).

Note: AIAN and NHPI numbers are from American Community Survey (ACS) data; the other reported racial groups are from Current Populations Survey (CPS) data.

* What Is a “Metropolitan Area”?

A metropolitan statistical area consists of the county or counties containing a principal city or cities as well as adjacent counties with strong social and economic ties. For instance, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan statistical area consists of the District of Columbia as well as some surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia and one county in West Virginia. The constituent counties within a metropolitan statistical area are determined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget using data from the Census Bureau.