- Using Census Bureau data complied by the Minnesota Population Centre, we found the median income for male and female full-time US workers at each year of age.
- A gender pay gap exists at all ages, with the median male worker earning more than the median female worker.
- The pay gap is narrower for younger workers.
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March 31 was Equal Pay Day in the US, which represents how long into the next year it would take the average working woman to earn as much as the average man earned during the previous year alone. The date highlights the gender pay gap in the US.
It’s a well-known fact that there is a gender pay gap, with women tending to earn less than men. It turns out that, in the US, that gap exists for workers of every age.
Using individual-level data from the US Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey assembled by the Minnesota Population Centre’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program, we found how much the median male and female full-time, year-round (defined as working for 50-52 weeks per year, and usually working at least 35 hours per week) American worker earned in total personal income for each year of age between 18 and 75 in 2018.
At each age, the median male worker had a higher income than the median female worker. The size of the pay gap tended to be larger for older workers than for younger workers. While the median female 18-year-old worker earned about 84% of the median male 18-year-old, the median 65-year-old female earned about 76% of the median 65-year-old male, and the median 75-year-old female earned about 66% of the median 75-year-old male.
This chart shows the sex pay gap for each year of age. Age is shown on the horizontal axis, and the median pay for male and female workers is shown on the vertical axis:
The narrowest pay gap in 2018 exists for 24-year-olds, where female workers earn 95% of male workers. The median female 24-year-old worker earned $US30,000, while their male counterparts earned $US31,500. The widest pay gap exists for 73-year-olds, where female workers earn 66% of male workers. The median female 73-year-old worker earned $US55,000, while male 73-year-olds earned $US83,600.
This table shows the median total personal income for male and female workers of each age: