Racial Differences in the Gender Wage Gap

A new report by the Center for American Progress finds that the gender wage gap is more pronounced for African American women than is the case for women of other racial/ethnic groups.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018 women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. This calculation is the ratio of median annual earnings for women working full time, year round to those of their male counterparts. Collectively, more than 55 million full-time working women earned an estimated $545.7 billion less than their male counterparts.

But when we break these figures down by racial and ethnic group, starling differences are exposed. For example, Asian American women earn 90 cents for every dollar earned by White men. White women earn 79 percent of what is earned by White men. But African American women earn only 62 cents to the dollar compared to the earnings of White men.

If we look at the total number of dollars earned, we find that in 2018 White women earned $13,186 less than White men. Black women earned on average $23,540 less in 2018 than White men. If we project how this annual wage gap affects lifetime earnings, we find that over the course of a 40-year career, Black women will earn $941,000 less than White men.

Related Articles


  1. jah and Jahnes Love.

    We need to develop this research in order to define what is constituted as Blacks. Ethnicity is a MAJOr factor in determinng employment and pay or salary! As a woman of Ayiti descent or a 2ne generation Transnational Ayiti woman I know that MY experience is dramatically different to that of African American Woman (ADOT) and even to the Anglocized American Caribbean women. I would also like to know the Stats for Native and LatinX women. Thanks for sharing. Blessed Love.

  2. This data by itself is not useful. Are black women earning less than white men for the same job or are black women more often employed in jobs that pay less? We need to compare apples to apples so we know which trees to prune and which to water. Black women with Doctoral degrees make MORE than their white male counterparts. Higher education is serving black women well. Let’s get the word out that education improves lives. Drastically!

  3. The method of calculation of a wage gap by the Center for American Progress has been debunked so many times that it is distressing to still see it quoted. You must compare specific jobs and correct for a number of parameters to reach valid conclusions. Rob is so right!

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Virginia State University Receives Approval to Launch MBA Program

“I am confident this program will equip our diverse population of men and women with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in today’s ever-evolving world of business," said Emmanual Omojokun, dean of the Virginia State University College of Business.

Three Black Scholars Receive Faculty Appointments

The appointments are Erica Armstrong Dunbar at Emory University in Atlanta, Kimberly Haynie at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, and Kevin Vandiver at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Delaware State University Aviation Program Establishes Partnership with Endeavor Air

Through a new memorandum of understanding, students in the aviation program at Delaware State University will have the opportunity to enroll in a pathway program with Endeavor Air, ultimately leading to a priority interview with the airline company upon completion of required flight hours.

American College of Physicians Honors Bruce Ovbiagele for Advancing Diversity in Healthcare

Dr. Ovbiagele's academic career has been dedicated to eliminating local and global stroke disparities, as well as mentoring medical students and researchers from underrepresented groups.

Featured Jobs