Women in the U.S. have made tremendous strides in the past century, most notably in educational attainment. Just last week, in fact, the Census showed women now surpass men in total number of advanced degrees.
But differences in pay between men and women remain the country's glaring hole on the road to gender equality. While the gap has narrowed, women are paid less than men in every single U.S. state.
A report from The American Community Survey finds that in 2009 women were paid only 78.2 percent of their male counterparts, with a median wage of $35,549 per year. And in only a handful of states did female wages exceed even 80 percent of what men made. A notable exception to the rule, however, was in the territory of Puerto Rico, is home to the sole female population whose median wages exceed those of men.
These lower wages contribute to higher rates of poverty among women than men in the same financial situation, too, according to a recent White House report, "Women In America." With women more often responsible for raising children alone, the larger financial demands can make lower wages extremely burdensome. In 2009, the report finds, 28 percent of working single mothers lived below the poverty line.
Below are the states with the highest male/female wage discrepancy.