A report released Thursday by the Institute for Women's Policy Research reveals that in nearly half of all U.S. states, the economic status of women has worsened or remained unchanged in the past decade.
Kentucky ranks in the bottom third, according to a release from the University of Kentucky.
If progress continues at the current rate, the average gap between U.S. women's and men's wages will not close until 2058 — but will take about 15 years longer in Kentucky.
The Status of Women in the States: 2015 Employment and Earnings used data from the federal government and other sources to measure working women's economic status in each state, including the District of Columbia (which ranks as the best place for women's employment and earnings).
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T.K. Logan, professor in the UK department of behavioral science and the Center on Drug & Alcohol Research, serves on the national advisory committee of the project.
The report also notes discrepancies among women of different ages, races/ ethnicities and educational levels.
Women older than 65 make 72.5 cents for every dollar a man makes (compared with 78 cents overall for women) and the median annual earnings for Hispanic women are the lowest, at $28,000 (compared to $38,000 for women overall). At all but one educational level, women earn the same or less than men who have lower educational attainment.
For example, a woman with a bachelor's degree has the same annual earnings as a man with an associate's degree.
Women in southern states, including Kentucky, are worse off than women in other states. Six of the bottom 10 states for women's employment and earnings are in the South.