The median Asian-American woman earns nearly as much as the median American man and earns significantly more than the median black and Hispanic man in the U.S., according to data released last month from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In their report, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, the BLS revealed that the median salary for Asian-American women working full-time in 2014 ($841) was only about 3 percent less per week than the median salary for all men in the U.S. ($871).
The median salary for Asian-American women, however, dwarfs the median salaries for black men ($680) and Hispanic men ($616). That means black men make only 81 cents and Hispanic men only 73 cents for every dollar an Asian woman makes, notes Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute.
The earnings discrepancy can be attributed to the fact that more than half of Asian Americans aged over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to only 33 percent of non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. As well, 21.8 percent of Asian Americans have graduate or professional degrees, while only 12.8 percent of non-Hispanic whites have the same.
“In other words, Asian Americans are 50 percent more likely to have bachelor’s degrees, and nearly twice as likely to hold PhDs, law degrees, MBAs or MDs,” Jeff Guo of the Washington Post explains.
The largest gender gap in pay among racial and ethnic groups, however, can be found when comparing the median earnings of Asian-American women ($841) to the median earnings of Asian-American men ($1,080). That means Asian-American women make 78 cents for every dollar that Asian-American men make.
Overall, Asian-American women with college degrees earn less than non-Hispanic men and Asian-American men and earn about the same as Hispanic and black men in the U.S.
Interestingly, among men, Asians were the highest earners ($1,080), with non-Hispanic white men trailing second ($897). That represents a 17% gap, which is the same as the 17% overall gender wage gap in 2014, notes Perry.