Women in 17 European Countries Have Higher Education Levels Than Men, Yet Earn Less
Ireland Europe Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Aug 31, 2023
“Even in the 59 countries where adult women are more educated than men, the average income gap is 39 percent.”
More education is supposed to lead to more employment opportunities and better income. However, the gender income gap persists and affects women worldwide, including those in European countries.
New data on gender equity released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) show that there isn’t any single country in Europe where women earn more than men, despite women having higher or the same levels of education as men.
According to UNDP's report, in 59 countries, women typically surpass men in terms of average years of schooling, with a small difference ranging from two years to just about a month.
“Even in the 59 countries where adult women are more educated than men, the average income gap is 39 percent,” the UNDP’s report points out.
The same reveals there are a total of 17 countries in Europe where women pursue more education but their annual incomes remain low compared to men, Erudera.com reports.
The income gap is evident in Ireland, where men have an almost 40 percent higher income than women (the percentage is calculated based on the average income), despite the latter spending an additional four months in education compared to men. Women in Ireland earn $30,402 (€28,040) less than men a year.
A similar situation is reported in Denmark, where women spend more time in school than men to make $21,000 (€19,369) less during a year. In percentage, Danish men earn 34.9 percent more than women.
The average years of schooling for women in Norway are 13.1 compared to 12.9 for men, meaning women in Norway pursue education for two more months than men, but they earn $19,000 (€17,500) less than men. The annual income of women in Norway is $54,699 (€50,450), while men make a total of $74,445 (€68,662) a year, which is 30 percent more.
Although women in Iceland spend two months more in school in comparison to men, they still earn nearly $17,000 (€15,679) less than men.
“Recent evidence shows a broken link between women’s access to education and achievements in economic empowerment. Today, average income gaps between women and men are correlated more strongly with measures of gender social norms than with gaps in education,” the report states.
In Poland, women put in extra effort in their education compared to men. However, an income gap is also present in this country.
Data indicate that women’s annual income is $25,261 (€23,298), and men’s is $41,336 (€38,124). In other words, men earn $16,075 (€14,826) more than women, (48 percent more).
Women in Poland spend an average of 13.3 years in school, while men spend 13.0 years.
In Finland, women also invest additional time in education, but their yearly income is $15,000 (€13,833) less than men’s income. Finnish women earn $41,698 (€38,453) annually while men earn $57,394 (€52,928), marking a 31 percent difference in income despite women spending more time in school.
Additionally, as the report further reveals, women in Estonia have higher levels of education; however, they earn $14,871 (€13,714) less than men a year.
Although the average years of schooling for women in Latvia are 13.6 while for men 12.9, women make $10,624 (€9,798) less than men. The UNDP research also brings to light that in Bulgaria, women spend two months more than men in school but earn $10,248 (€9,451) less than men, while in Sweden, they spend an additional four months in school compared to men, yet earn $9,746 (€8,987) less than men.
Women in Portugal spend a month more than men in education, but the latter earn annual incomes that surpass that of women by $9,414 (€8,681). Similarly, in Lithuania, women earn $8,609 (€7,940) less than men a year, but based on the average years of schooling for both genders, women pursue education for two more months compared to men.
Other countries in Europe where women are more educated than men include Belarus and Moldova, where women spend a month more in education to earn $8,007 (€7,384) and $5,874 (€5,417) less than men. Similarly, women in Georgia dedicate additional time to their education to earn $7,187 (€6,705) less than men.
In Ukraine, women pursue education for eight extra months compared to men, to earn $6,235 (€5,749) less than them, while in Albania, which is home to a population with different levels of education, men earn $4,993 (€4,604) more than women, even though they spend only an extra two months in school compared to women.
A Look at Countries Where Men Surpass Women
Men in Switzerland have higher education levels than women, and their annual income advantage is $24,854 (€22,919) compared to women, a total of $79,451 (€73,268) per year. Women, on the other hand, earn $54,597 (€50,345) annually.
Similar trends are witnessed in Germany, where men put in extra effort in their education, and their earnings surpass women’s by almost $17,000 (€15,676), and in Belgium, where men earn $19,762 (€18,223) more than women but also spend more time in school. Men in Belgium earn $62,295 (€57,444) a year, while women earn $42,533 (€39,221).
According to UNDP data, these are the countries where men are more educated and earn more annually:
- Malta: men spend four months more in school than women and earn $16,000 (€14,754) more than women a year. The annual income of men in Malta is $46,821(€43,177), while women make $30,282 (€27,925).
- Austria: men spend an additional half-year in school compared to women, resulting in earnings that surpass those of women by $20,734 (€19,120). The annual income of men in Austria is $64,148 (59,154), and women’s incomes stand at $43,414 (€40,034).
- Spain: men in Spain spend two months more in school than women. They earn $14,000 (€13,436) more than women, who in a year make $31,213 (€28,783). Men, on the other hand, make $45,784 (€42,219) annually.
- France: men invest four months more in school than women, but the difference in annual income is $15,585 (€14,371) less for women. The latter earn $38,403 (€35,413) yearly, while men’s income totals $53,988 (€49,785).
- Cyprus: only one month more at school, yet men in Cyprus earn $15,000 (€13,942) more than women. Men in Cyprus have an income of $45,735 (€42,177) a year, while women earn $30,617 (€28,235).
- Italy: men with an average of 10.9 years of schooling, three months less than women, earn $20,000 (€18,446) more than women a year.
- Czechia: the average years of schooling for women are 12.7 and for men 13.0. According to figures, men earn $47,289 (€43,614) a year while women make $30,455 (€28,088), which means men earn $16,834 (€15,526) more than women in this country.
- Greece: men in Greece invest six months more than women in education. They earn a total of $35,368 which amount is $12,478 (€11,506) more than women's annual income that stands at $22,890.
- Croatia: men spend about six months more in education compared to women, which results in men earning $12,825 (€11,827) more annually. Women and men in Croatia earn $23,888 (€22,029) and $36,713 (€33,856) a year, respectively.
- Slovakia: men attend school for only a month more than women, but their annual income surpasses that of women by $11,964 (€11,033).
- Hungary: men spend three extra months in education compared to women and earn $14,353 (€13,237) more than them.
- Türkiye: men spend 1.5 years more than women at school, but the income gap is $23,850 (€21,997) more for men.
- Montenegro: Eight months more than women in school, and men in Montenegro earn $10,066 (€9,284) more than women.
- Romania: men go to school for an extra six months compared to women and earn $11,320 (€10,440) more than women.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: men in the country spend 1.6 more years at school compared to women and earn $9,208 (€8,492 ) more than them.
- North Macedonia: men invest an additional year in school compared to women and earn $9,569 (€8,825) more than them.
- Serbia: men in Serbia spend eight months more in school than women. Data show they earn a total annual income of $23,270 (€21,462) compared to women’s $15,306 (€14,116). That is a difference of $7,964 (€7,345) a year, indicating income discrimination in the country.
Gender Income Disparity Continues in Luxembourg, UK, Slovenia & Russia Despite Equal Education Levels
Both women and men in Luxembourg, the UK, Slovenia, and Russia have the same levels of education, but men earn more in these countries as well. Despite the same average number of years of schooling, women’s annual income stands as shown in the table below:
|Women in the UK earn $15,000 (€13,834) less than men|
|Women in Luxembourg earn $28,874 (€26,632) less than men|
|Women in Slovenia earn $13,000 (€11,990) less than men|
|Women in Russia earn $11,431 (€10,543) less than men|
Photo: Markus Spiske | Unsplash
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