The gender pay gap is lower in Bangor than most other metro areas in the U.S.
Main Street is seen in downtown Bangor earlier this month. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The Bangor metro area now has one the smallest gender pay gaps in the nation.

That’s the finding of the Pew Research Center’s analysis of wage and income data for 250 metro areas across the country from 2000 to 2019.

In the Bangor metro area, the pay gap between men and women shrunk 21 percentage points over that time period. In 2019, women made 91 percent of what their male colleagues took home. That compares with 82 percent on average nationally.

That dramatic change is partly due to women seeing their annual median, inflation-adjusted income rise $6,300 between 2000 ($35,400) and 2019 ($41,700), an 18 percent increase. At the same time, men in the Bangor metro area saw their annual median income fall $5,000 (from $50,800 in 2000 to $45,800 in 2019, a 10 percent decrease).

Overall, the Bangor metro area ranked ninth for pay parity, the only New England metro area in the top 20, the bulk of which were located in California and Florida, the Pew analysis found.

The only other Maine metro area included in Pew’s analysis, the Portland-South Portland metro area, ranked 76th for pay parity.

In the Portland-South Portland metro area, women earned about 83 percent of what men took home in 2019, just 7 points more than in 2000. Women there saw their annual median, inflation-adjusted income rise 11 percent from $40,900 in 2000 to $45,300 in 2019.

Unlike the Bangor metro area, the annual median income did not fall for male workers, but they saw a more marginal 0.7 percent wage growth over that same period ($53,900 in 2000 to $54,300 in 2019).

The Pew Research Center analysis used U.S. Census Bureau data and included full-time workers (defined as working at least 35 hours a week and 50 weeks a year) over age 16. It excluded self-employed workers.