The Economic Status of Women in New York State

Women in New York, as in the nation overall, have made substantial progress toward economic equality over the last several decades but still lag behind men in important ways. Women earn less than their male counterparts, are more likely to live in poverty, and are less likely to own businesses. Even in areas where women’s status has advanced, there is room for improvement. For example, if progress toward closing the gender wage gap continues at the current rate since 1960, women in New York will not achieve equal pay with men until the year 2049 (IWPR 2015a). In addition, disparities across racial and ethnic groups persist, indicating that women’s progress has been unequally distributed.

This briefing paper assesses women’s economic status in New York state, drawing comparisons with other states in the Middle Atlantic region and the nation overall. It examines how women in New York fare on two composite indices—Employment & Earnings and Poverty & Opportunity—and their component indicators. (For more on these indicators and IWPR’s Status of Women in the States initiative, see Appendix I or visit The briefing paper also considers how women’s status in New York has changed over the last decade, highlights differences across age and racial and ethnic groups, and identifies policy recommendations to further improve women’s status.

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