Friday, September 20, 2019

Do young women now earn more than young men?

Stefan Molyneux retweeted today the claim that young single women now make more than young single men.  Is that true?

Using General Social Survey (GSS) data, I calculated median incomes for never-married men and women ages 18 to 29 without children who are working full-time.  The numbers shown below are the sex difference between medians, and I include all decades since the 1970s for comparison (sample size = 2,539).  The figures are in constant dollars.

Difference between median male and female incomes 
1970s    1,366
1980s    5,484
1990s       538
2000s    2,625
2010s    6,309

Young men have made more than young women in every decade for five decades, and the biggest gap has been this decade.

The gap is not due to some patriarchal conspiracy (Remind me guys, when and where is the next meeting?) to keep women down. Young men take jobs that make higher wages like construction, while young women are more likely to do something like childcare which doesn't pay crap.

More women are in college, too, so that will make them earn less in the short-term.

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