A new survey from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that women make more money than their male counterparts in only 16 U.S. cities.
The data from the American Community Survey and analyzed by Nerd Wallet shows that California is the most friendly state to women in terms of wages. Six California cities — Indio, Inglewood, Richmond, Whittier, Hesperia and Vallejo — made the list.
The top performing city in the survey, though, was Jacksonville, North Carolina, where women make 27 percent more than men. The only state, other than California, that had more than one city was New York, which had only two — Syracuse and Mount Vernon.
While the survey results may be seen as proof that progress is being made in terms of the gender wage gap, the Daily Mail points out that all of the cities on the list have populations under 150,000.
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That would suggest that gender wage equality is not quite catching on despite attempts by President Barack Obama to make it an issue in his second term.
“Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns … in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong,” Obama said in an April speech according to The Washington Post.
But the numbers do reveal that income equality is becoming more prevalent in cities with diverse populations where minorities are employed at higher rates.
That is the case in Vallejo, California, a city where women make nearly 5 percent more than men. But experts like Sreekar Jasthi, an analyst with Nerd Wallet, are at a loss to explain why that is happening.
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"It's a trend we've noticed only in recent years, even in more diverse cities, and it's hard to say why this is happening,” Jasthi told the Vallejo Times-Herald. "It's possible that meritocracy is higher in places like this. Or, in some of those cities, the women are earning more than the men, because the men may not even be working or are under-employed. We're not sure if this is an anomaly or the closing of the gap is a real trend. In a few years we'll know.
Here is the full list of cities, courtesy of Nerd Wallet: