Gender pay gapHyejin Kang / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Self.

The participation of women in the labor force has increased significantly over the past 70 years. While men still employ more women than women, the gap has narrowed significantly. More women are graduating from higher education than ever before, and in fact women have earned the majority of higher education degrees in the past few decades. Despite this progress, however, a significant gender pay gap remains between men and women. The latest data from the US Census Bureau shows that women make an average of just 81 cents for every dollar a man makes. The ratio of annual earnings for full-time women to full-time men is 81 percent – a pay gap of 19 percent.

The gender pay gap has narrowed steadily over the past few years. In 1979, full-time women earned only 62 percent of the earnings of full-time men, but over the next 30 years that number had risen to 80 percent. After decades of improvement, however, the ratio of women's income to men's income has remained relatively stable and is just over 80 percent. While some of the remaining gap can be explained by factors such as professional separation and work experience, other difficult to quantify and measure factors, including discrimination, also play a role.

The gender pay gap varies by profession and industry

Wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

While the average income ratio of women to men is 81 percent, this ratio varies considerably between occupations and industries. Legal professions have the largest gender pay gap. Women in legal professions earn only 55 percent of the earnings of men in legal professions. A large part of these wage differences can, however, be explained by the disproportionate share of women who work in poorly paid legal professions – for example as legal clerks or paralegals. Men, on the other hand, are much more likely to be lawyers than women. Naturopaths have the second largest gender pay gap: women earn about 65 percent of the earnings of men in this field.

At the industry level, the finance and insurance sectors have the largest gender pay gap. Women in this industry make 59 cents on the dollar. Job sorting by gender or career choices made by men and women in finance and insurance is likely to explain a significant part of the pay gap in this industry. Women are more likely to work than poorly paid bank clerks, while men are more likely to work as financial advisors. The reasons for gender segregation are complicated, but experts cite gender differences in preferences, social norms and discrimination as the main drivers.

The gender pay gap is also very different geographically. In some cities and states, women tend to earn much less than men, while in others women's pay is more equitable. At the state level, Wyoming and Utah have the largest gender pay gap, with women earning 63 percent and 70 percent of men's earnings, respectively. Women workers in Maryland and Vermont are compensated more fairly than their male counterparts. In these states, women earn 88 percent and 91 percent of men's income, respectively.

Cities with the largest gender pay gap

Wage gapiofoto / Shutterstock.com

To find the cities with the largest gender wage gap, Self Financial researchers analyzed the latest data on US Census revenue. The researchers ranked the metropolitan areas according to the ratio of the income of full-time women to the income of full-time men. The researchers also calculated the median annual earnings for full-time women, the median annual earnings for full-time men, the industry with the largest pay gap, and the occupation with the largest pay gap.

In order to improve the relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis. In addition, subway areas have been divided into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–349,999
  • Medium-sized metros: 350,000–999,999
  • Large metros: 1,000,000 or more

Read on for the major metros with the largest gender pay gap.

15. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver, ColoradoEdgeofReason / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 79.6%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 51,436
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 64,650
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Management of businesses and companies
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, fishing and forestry professions

14. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

Cleveland, OhioPedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 79.6%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 43,685
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 54,885
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Management of businesses and companies
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Fire fighting and prevention as well as other employees of the protection service, including the supervisory authorities

13. Birmingham-Hoover, AL

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 79.6%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 41,959
  • Average annual income for full-time men: 52,709 USD
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Fire fighting and prevention as well as other employees of the protection service, including the supervisory authorities

12. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

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  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 78.9%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 45,224
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 57,351
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Legal professions

11. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

Austin, TexasRoschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 78.4%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 47,530
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 60,591
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Management of businesses and companies
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Fire fighting and prevention as well as other employees of the protection service, including the supervisory authorities

10. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana at nightf11 Photography / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 78.3%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 40,361
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 51,549
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Transport professions

9. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City skylineNatalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 77.3%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 39,697
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 51,370
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Fire fighting and prevention as well as other employees of the protection service, including the supervisory authorities

8. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 77.2%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 42,033
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 54,415
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: information
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Legal professions

7. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

Indianapolis, IndianaAlexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 76.5%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 42,098
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 55,064
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Management of businesses and companies
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Legal professions

6. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh esb-professional / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 76.3%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 45,496
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 59,601
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Management of businesses and companies
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Legal professions

5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Downtown SeattleMark Payne / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 76.1%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 57,085
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 74,999
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Management of businesses and companies
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Legal professions

4. St. Louis, MO-IL

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MissouriKENNY TONG / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 75.0%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 44,670
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 59,521
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Financing and insurance
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Fire fighting and prevention as well as other employees of the protection service, including the supervisory authorities

3. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, UtahJoe Guetzloff / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 74.7%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 41,816
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 55,974
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Law enforcement officers including supervisors

2. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 74.0%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 44,694
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 60,385
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Legal professions

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA.

The San Jose skyline, which has a lower median rent than the average mortgage paymentstellamc / Shutterstock.com

  • Women's income as a percentage of men: 72.7%
  • Average annual income for full-time women: $ 70,559
  • Average annual income for full-time men: $ 97,075
  • Industry with the largest pay gap: Financing and insurance
  • Occupation with the largest pay gap: Sales and related professions

Detailed results and methodology

new acquaintancefizkes / Shutterstock.com

The major metropolises with the largest gender wage gaps are spread across the United States. The San Jose metropolitan area has some of the highest wages in the country, but it also has the largest gender pay gap among major metropolitan areas, with women earning less than 73 percent of men.

Utah, Texas, the Midwest, and the South have many of the small and medium-sized metropolitan areas with the largest gender pay gap. Gender-specific wage differences tend to be more pronounced in small and medium-sized metros than in large metros, with women in many small metros earning at least 30 to 40 percent less than men. The metropolitan area with the largest gender pay gap is Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the ratio of women's income to men's income is 54 percent, meaning the gender pay gap is 46 percent.

To identify the metros with the largest gender pay gap, Self Financial researchers analyzed the latest revenue data from the US Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey. The researchers ranked the metropolitan areas according to the ratio of the income of full-time women to the income of full-time men. Metros with larger gender pay differentials have a lower ratio of women's income to men's income. In the event of a tie, the metro with the lower median annual earnings was rated higher for full-time women. The researchers also calculated the median annual earnings for full-time men, the industry with the largest pay gap, and employment with the largest pay gap.

Only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis. In addition, subway areas have been divided into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000–350,000
  • Medium-sized metros: 350,000–1,000,000
  • Large metros: more than 1,000,000

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