Nation-wide disparities exist within and between various groups of people in the U.S. These disparities have far-reaching effects on quality of life, housing and more. The price of labor is a significant factor that contributes to the inequality among these groups, specifically in regards to the imbalance of salaries between men and women and the pay of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) citizens compared to white people.
According to a study by the United Way of the National Capital Area, income inequality differs by city and state on the basis of both race and gender.
White people earn, on average, 26.87% more than BIPOC individuals. However, this discrepancy is nearly four times larger in Washington D.C., with an astonishing pay disparity of 91%. The data suggests that western states are the most equitable, with Washington, Texas, Arizona and California all having a wage gap of less than 10%.
It comes as little surprise that the top seven cities with the lowest income disparity on the basis of race are also located in the western part of the country. However, Bridgeport, Connecticut alone has a larger rate of income inequality than the average of any state, with white people earning nearly double what BIPOC earn in that city.
The data suggests that gender pay disparities are less extreme than racial disparities. Though the smallest gender pay gap, 9.86%, is nearly twice as large as the smallest racial pay gap, only two states– Utah and Wyoming– have pay disparities along gender lines that exceed 40%. Gender pay disparities in major cities are also less extreme than the racial pay disparities in the same cities. Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the least equitable city, with a gender pay gap of nearly 50%. Yet, Fort Myers, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada are the only two cities with a pay disparity below 10%. These findings again demonstrate that income inequality on the basis of gender is less extreme than racial income inequality.
After investigating racial pay disparities and gender pay disparities by states and cities, the study further narrowed its focus by examining income discrepancies among BIPOC men versus white men, and BIPOC women versus white women. The results of both groups on a state level mirror the racial pay gap results, with states like Washington and Texas, once again showing some of the smallest gaps in the nation. The only city in which BIPOC individuals earn more than white individuals is Poughkeepsie, New York, where BIPOC women earn 4.5% more than white women annually.