CENSUS: Cecil County Women–Smarter but Poorer?

November 1, 2009

  Cecil County women are better educated than men in the county but they earn significantly less money from their jobs than less-educated men, according to new three-year data issued this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

  The discrepancies in income are not easily explained by the cliched notions that women work part-time, or drop out of the work force, to care for children and family members. The statistics show that women living in Cecil County are working at about equal rates with men but their work is not being rewarded with equal pay. Women with higher education levels make less money than equally or  less-educated men.  But equally educated men and women only make similar salaries if they are employed by the federal government, where there are strong anti-discriminatory rules in place.

   The latest three-year evaluations by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Amercan Community Survey, issued this week, show that 14.6 percent of Cecil County women, age 25 or older, have a bachelor’s degree, in comparison with only 12.5 percent for men of the same age group. 

   The Census Bureau survey found that for Cecil County residents, aged 25 and over, all residents holding a Bachelor’s degree  had an annual income of $55,192– but the disparity between men and women was striking. For a male with a  Bachelor’s degree the annual income  was $70,549  but for a woman with the same educational credential the salary was just $44,762. In fact, a male with just a high school education made more –$45,323– than the college educated woman.

    And even among those Cecil County residents with graduate and/or professional degrees, the gender differences are stunning.  The Census Bureau statistics calculate that  local men with such credentials earn $80,289 a year while women with the same credentials earn just $47,807.

   So what might account for such differences?  The Census stats knock down the usual prejudices/stereotypes.  The study showed that in Cecil County, 59.3 percent of families had both mom and dad working full time, and 6.2 percent of families had mom working full-time while dad was not employed outside the home, and 20.8 percent of familes had dad working while mom stayed home.

     Overall, these new 3-year federal statistics indicate that Cecil County is, unfortunately,  yet again a backwater in the real world.

  The stark numbers do not reflect some Cecil County-centric issue such as the lack of  local jobs, driving times to job sites, etc. But the stats do show that there is a very real difference between male and female job compensation.