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The Earnings Gap by Occupation and Educational Attainment: Findings from Census 2000

Jennifer Cheeseman Day

The earnings gap between men and women persists.  In 2000, among full-time, year-round workers ages 25 and older, the female-to-male earnings ratio was .66, closer to 1.0 than the 1990 figure of .63, and the 1980 figure of .58.  Using the largest sample available, Census 2000 data, this research explores the relationship between education and occupation to help illustrate whether women’s choice in occupation contributes to the wage gap.  We addressed the following questions:

  1. Do women in occupations with higher educational attainment realize wages more equal to men’s than less educated women?
  2. Do occupations dominated by women pay women and men more equally?
  3. Do majority female occupations pay lower wages?               
  4. How do earnings ratios within occupations vary by age and education?
  5. What occupations pay more equally?


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