Missouri women make 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to a 2016 report conducted by the Women’s Foundation and the University of Missouri. That compares to the Foundation’s 2014 report saying Missouri women made 77 cents for every dollar that men made. The 2016 pay difference of 22% between men and women equates to more than $10,000 annually.
Emily Johnson with the University of Missouri’s Institute of Public Policy says little progress has been made in closing the state’s gender pay gap.
“Many factors, including pay equity, education, health care, and child care significantly impact women’s lives and their ability to achieve economic equity,” says Johnson. “This earning gap has decreased over time, but has reached a plateau and remained at or around this percentage for years. At the national level, women earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man earns.”
Women in southeast Missouri’s Reynolds County earn an average 57 cents for every dollar that men earn, while women in central Missouri’s Miller County earn an average 96 cents for every dollar earned by men.
In 2013, the average pay for Missouri men was $43,000 a year compared to $34,000 for women.
Johnson says the latest report also shows that two-thirds of all Missourians older than 65 living in poverty are women.
“In Missouri, 10.3% of women over 65 were in poverty in 2015,” says Johnson. “The poverty rate of women 75 and older is almost two times higher than the poverty rate of men 75 and older in both Missouri and the U.S.”
Johnson says women also lead in the number of uninsured Missourians.
“About 60% of those uninsured in Missouri are women. There are 33 counties where more than one-fifth of the population is uninsured,” says Johnson.
The study says 9.8% of Missourians lacked health care coverage in 2015, compared to 13% in 2013. Nationally, 9.4% are uninsured.
Some Republicans in Washington vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. The number of uninsured Americans will likely increase if the law is repealed.
The report also shows a decline in the number of women in state leadership roles. About 22% of Missouri’s 2017 legislative seats are held by women, down from 25% in 2015. About 24% of state courts judges are women, 19% of state prosecutors are women, and there are two female sheriffs in Missouri.
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