The Economic Status of Women in Colorado 2015

Key Findings 

Women in Colorado, 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.

  • If Colorado women earned the same as comparable men, the poverty rate for all working women would be cut in half and the state economy would grow by an additional $9.2 billionor 3.0 percent of the state’s GDP in 2014.

  • Pay equity remains elusive: if progress continues at the current rate since 1960, the state’s gender wage gap will not close until the year 2057.

  • Disparities across racial and ethnic groups persist, indicating that women’s progress has been unequally distributed. Hispanic women in Colorado earn about half of their white male counterpart’s earnings, at 53.8 cents on the dollar, and black women earn only 65.5 cents onthe dollar.

  • Women are more likely than men to live in poverty in Colorado (13.0 percent of women, compared with 10.0 percent of men). A considerable share of households headed by single mothers with children under 18 in Colorado—36.5 percent, or 45,171 households—live in poverty.

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If Colorado Achieved Pay Equity

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