While women across the U.S. earn less than men, in some states the gender imbalance is more extreme than others.
Gender inequality in paychecks usually results from several trends, such as occupational segregation (or where women tend to hold certain low-paying jobs, such as waiting tables), according to a new study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. The glass ceiling also persists, which is evident in that fewer than 5 percent of CEOs in S&P 500 companies are women.
As more women have earned college degrees and entered the workforce, that's helped narrow the pay gap, although progress has stalled in recent years: Women still earn far less than men, at 78 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts, the study noted. The gender imbalance isn't only a problem for women. The report pointed out that women's paychecks are increasingly important to American families' economic security.
While men continue to earn more than women, they're also suffering from some negative earnings trends, the study noted. Men's real earnings have remained flat during the past 30 years, while women's income has grown, although from a much lower base.
Looking at the gender imbalance in pay by state, the gap was the narrowest in New York, where women earn almost 88 cents for every $1 men earn. Regional differences also showed up in the findings. Women in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions had a smaller wage gap than in other regions.
The worst region for gender equality in pay was the South.
Read on to find out which nine states suffer from the largest gender imbalance in pay.