Single ladies are finding “success in the city” according to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau numbers crunched by the New York research firm Reach Advisors.
The firm released its report earlier this month and USA Today reports that women ages 22 to 30 with no husband and no kids earn a median $27,000 a year, which is 8% more than comparable men in the top 366 metropolitan areas. The women out-earn men in 39 of the 50 biggest cities and match them in another eight. The disparity is greatest in the ATL, where young, childless single women earn 21% more than male counterparts.
This doesn’t mean our equal pay for equal work struggle is over. Remember these numbers only reflect earning for single women without kids and don’t hold true for all women in their 20s working full time — overall, they earn 90% of what all men in their 20s make.
As for the cause of this shift, education is the key. Nearly three-quarters of girls who graduate from high school go to college, versus two-thirds of boys. Furthermore, women are now 1.5 times more likely than men to graduate from college or earn advanced degrees, which typically help women demand higher salaries.
What I appreciated most about the USA Today article is insight from Stephanie Coontz, who teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. She dismisses that (very annoying) notion that successful single women intimidate men and therefore can’t find husbands. Yes, these women are “likely to be pickier” she said and they may delay marriage, but many do marry later in life.
Rebecca Loveridge, a 27-year-old blogger and magazine marketing director from Washington, D.C., said it best, “One day, I’ll get married and have kids. But I’m in no rush.” She’s too busy having fun dining out, attending concerts and checking out art galleries with her friends. “Now is the time to be single,” she told USA Today.