Black women in America had to work until August 7 —
eight months into 2018 — to earn the same income as their white male counterparts made in 2017. Statistics about the pay gay for black women highlight just how detrimental that wage gap is for women of color and their families.
National Equal Pay Day fell on April 10 this year, marking the number of days into 2018 it took for women overall to earn the same income as white men did in the previous calendar year. But as the distance between National Equal Pay Day and Black Women's Equal Pay Day in August shows, women of color face a much wider wage gap. According to a
new study by Lean In and SurveyMonkey, in partnership with the National Urban League, more than one third of Americans aren’t even aware of a pay gap between black women and white men. Similarly, the study found 50 percent of people — including nearly half of hiring managers — don't know black women make less than white women on average.
Equal pay advocates say
raising the minimum wage would drastically shrink that wage gap, as the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) estimates that nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. Women of color are especially overrepresented in low-wage jobs. In order to fully understand what the wage gap means for black women, it's important to look at how unequal pay compounds year after year. Black Women Make 63 Cents For Every Dollar Paid To White Men
Black women who work full time are paid just
63 cents for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men earn, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF). Black Women Make $21,698 Less Per Year On Average Than White Male Peers
A recent fact sheet published by NPWF found that the median income for black women in the United States is $36,227 per year, compared to a median salary of $57,925 for white men. That means the average black woman makes $21,698 less than her white male counterparts every year.
Black Women Must Work 219 Days Into 2018 To Achieve Equal Pay
Black Women's Equal Pay Day falls on August 7, which means Black women have to work 219 days longer than white men to earn the same amount of money.
The Biggest Pay Gap In The Country Is In Louisiana Chris Graythen/Getty Images News/Getty Images
While black women in every state earn far less than white men, how wide that gap is differs from place to place. For instance, black women in Louisiana earn roughly 47 cents for every dollar paid to white men, according to
data compiled by the NWLC. Although four states didn't have sufficient data to be included in the NWLC ranking, Louisiana clocked in as the state with the widest wage gap. Idaho Has The Smallest Wage Gap In The Country Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Idaho, on the other hand, has the smallest wage gap. Black women in Idaho are paid 86 cents for every dollar white men earn, a figure that can partially be explained by men's relatively low wages throughout the state.
In D.C., The Wage Gap Is 11 Cents Wider Than The National Average Mark Makela/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Black women make up the biggest percentage of the full-time workforce in the District of Columbia and Mississippi, according to the NPWF, where they're paid 52 cents and 56 cents for every dollar paid to white men, respectively. In the district, that equates to a wage gap that's 11 cents wider than the national average.
Black Women In NYC Will Lose Out On $1.3 Million Over A 40-Year Career Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
In New York City,
black women make about $32,000 less than white, non-hispanic men each year, according to a new report from the city comptroller's office. Added up over a 40-year career, that means a black woman in New York City will earn almost $1.3 million less than her male peers. Making up that difference would take an additional 30 years of work. Black Women In NYC Also Are More Than 3 Times As Likely To Work Low-Wage Service Jobs Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The same New York City comptroller's report found that black women are more than three times as likely as white men to work low-paid service and retail jobs (those in higher-paying job sectors still earn less than male coworkers).
More Than 80 Percent Of Black Mothers Are Breadwinners
More than 80 percent of black mothers are their families' breadwinner, "which means their households rely heavily on their wages to make ends meet and get ahead," according to the NPWF fact sheet.
More Than 1.3 Million Households Headed By Black Women Live In Poverty Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The vast wage gap black women experience prevents them from pulling their families out of poverty. The NPWF says the high number of families living below the federal poverty line demonstrates "the imperative to eliminate the wage gap."
If The Wage Gap Disappeared, The Average Black Woman Could Feed Her Family For 3 Years Paula Bronstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The NPWF points out that if black women were suddenly paid equally to their white male peers, that new income would be enough to cover three years' worth of food, two and a half years of child care, or 22 months of rent.
It's important to note that non-black women of color face many of the same barriers.
Latina women make just 54 cents and Native American women are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. More than halfway through 2018, those women are still working toward earning the same wages their white male counterparts made last year.