The gender gap is a persistent problem around the globe, with no country yet to achieve pay parity between genders. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the gap is not on track to close until 2154. In the U.S., women on average, make around 83.7% of what their male counterparts make. And yet, surprisingly, there are some locations in the U.S. where women — specifically single millennial women — earn more than their male peers.
A recent study by LendingTree found that single millennial women outearn single millennial men in six metro areas. It may be worthwhile to have a look at the average pay difference between single millennial women and single millennial men in these cities (according to LendingTree’s research), and explore what these areas look like in terms of cost of living.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, single millennial women earn $32,261 on average, and single millennial men make $32,163. That’s a difference of $98 in women’s favor. Compared to many other metros, Knoxville is affordable, with the cost of living sitting at 15% lower than the national average, according to Payscale. The city has a population of roughly 191,000.
Once a frontier town, Ogden, Utah, sees single millennial women raking in an average annual salary of $35,225 — $530 more than their male peers, who pull in $34,695 a year. This city has about 87,000 residents and the cost of living is right on par with the national average, according to Payscale.
In Toledo, Ohio — home to about 266,000 people — single millennial women make $27,060 a year on average, while single millennial men make an average of $25,757. That’s a difference of $1,303. Cost of living here is 5.6% lower than the national average, according to Salary.com.
Cape Coral, Florida
Home to some 217,000 people, Cape Coral, Florida, is known for its expansive canals — and, perhaps now, the fact that single millennial women make more than their male peers ($32,663 versus $31,180, making for a difference of $1,483). The cost of living here is steep, though, at 9% higher than the national average, according to Payscale.
In Portland, Maine, single millennial women make an average of $39,365 a year — $2,000 more than single millennial men, who make $37,365. Cost of living isn’t cheap, at 15% higher than the national average, according to Payscale. About 70,000 people call Portland home.
Single millennial women are most likely to outearn men in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which has about 125,000 residents. These women make an average of $36,124 a year, whereas men make $32,145 (a difference of $3,979). Those additional earnings will surely come in handy for women in this metro, as the cost of living in Allentown is 6% higher than the national average, according to Payscale.
It’s worth noting that, according to LendingTree, all of these cities where millennial women generally outearn millennial men are near major universities, which could play a factor in why they earn more. Millennial women are more likely than their male peers to earn a college degree, which can open doors to higher-paying careers.
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