Updated Apr 2, 2022 - Economy

Young women earn more than men in 16 U.S. cities

Top 10 metro areas where young women earn more than young men
Data: Pew Research Center analysis of 2015-19 American Community Survey(IPUMS); Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Women under 30 out-earned men in 16 cities across the country, including New York and Washington, D.C., a Pew Research analysis of Census data through 2019 finds.

Why it matters: The gender wage penalty is less severe when women are just starting out in their careers. Women age 16-29 earn 93%, on average, of what men make, compared with 84% for all women.

  • Young women and men earned about the same in 6 cities. And in the other 228 cities Pew analyzed, young women earned less than men. In the other 228 cities Pew analyzed, young women earned less than men.

Between the lines: The cities where women are getting ahead generally have plenty of jobs that require higher levels of education, says Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford who studies women and leadership. And women have been earning more college degrees than men for decades.

The big picture: This edge in pay likely won't last as these women grow older. Women are promoted at a slower pace, Cooper said. And those who have children typically face a wage penalty. (Fathers typically get a wage bump.)

  • "It’s unlikely that this finding will hold in the long run," Cooper said.

Yes, but: This data is from 2015-2019, and women's wages have actually been rising faster than men's lately, as a labor shortage pushes up pay.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to state that young women outearned men in 16 cities (not 22).

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