At last count, women in America working full-time, year-round earned 78 cents for every dollar men earned. At its current rate, the US won't close that gender wage gap until 2058, according to a new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a nonprofit that advocates for policies that help women at work.
IWPR took this one step further, calculating when states' wage gaps will close. The first, Florida, is estimated to have a 0-percent wage gap in 23 years. But five states will have to wait until at least 2100 for pay parity.
To come up with these estimates, IWPR simply used current rates of change in each state's gender wage gap and extrapolated them out. These rates could easily slow down or speed up in the coming years, so what this chart tells you isn't, of course, a hard-and-fast date on when the gender wage gap will close in any given place. Rather, what it does well is communicate two important facts: one, wage gaps are much bigger in some states than others, and that's a huge reason the gap will take so much longer to close nationwide. Those differences (as well as differences in the rate of change) happen for various reasons. Wyoming and North Dakota for example, have the booming, male-dominated oil and gas industry, which features many high-paying jobs. So industries and occupations factor in, as well as a host of other factors, like how educated women are in a particular region compared with men.
But the finding also highlights the fact that the wage gap is shrinking slowly. Right now, women earn 22 percent less than men (according to 2013 statistics). Five years ago, it was around 23 percent, according to the National Women's Law Center. Ten years ago, it was 25 percent.