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There have never been more unmarried women in America.
About 57 million women in the United States are unmarried—widowed, divorced, separated, or single. That’s one out of every two U.S. women. Their numbers are growing, along with their power to influence elections and set policy priorities. We created the VPC Data Center to house and highlight information and analysis from multiple sources on this fast-growing, increasingly influential population. This library is intended to be an easily-accessible, often-updated resource.

Great New Interactive Feature from Pew: The Elections Performance Index

August 24, 2016

The Pew Charitable Trusts have just published a new Elections Performance Index, an interactive feature with data from “the first comprehensive assessment of election administration in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

Using indicators for ballot access and ease of voting like voter turnout, registration rate, registration or absentee ballot problems, and voting wait time, they’ve assigned each state a percentage score for its election administration for every federal election from 2008 to 2014. In the 2014 election, the state with the best score was was North Dakota, with 84%; the bottom-scoring state was Alabama, with 49%.

pew-epi-rankings

In their interactive data feature, you can view each state’s scores on all of the individual indicators, a ranked list of all the states, or compare states’ scores from election to election. It’s a great tool to see how voters in many states still face significant challenges in order to raise their voice in our democracy.

How does your state stack up in Pew’s rankings? Find out here.

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Unmarried Women: Growing in Numbers and the Power to Decide 2016 Elections

July 1, 2016

There are more than 58 million single women eligible to vote this November. For the first time ever, there are more single women than married women eligible to vote, and their numbers continue to grow nationally and in key states. And as the new poll of nine battleground states conducted for Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund shows, single women could determine the outcome of the presidential election and U.S. Senate races down-ballot.

Unmarried-Women-vs-Married-Women,-2010-2016

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Chart: Rising American Electorate vs. Non-RAE Percent Change

June 24, 2016

This chart showing the growth of the Rising American Electorate – unmarried women, people of color, and Millennials – in key states between 2010 and 2016 demonstrates quite clearly how broadly and quickly the face of America is changing.

data-center-template

All information was provided by Lake Research Partners.

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Equal Pay Day 2016: Unmarried Women, Race, and the #WageGap

April 12, 2016

Today is Equal Pay Day: a date that symbolizes how far into 2016 the average woman would have to work just to make as much money as the average man made in 2015. Because the average woman makes 80¢ for every $1 a man makes, she’d have to work three extra months—all the way through March 2016—just to make as much as the average man made in 2015.

As we pointed out in yesterday’s post, while the wage gap for women overall is awful, the wage gap for unmarried women is even worse; the average unmarried woman makes only 60¢ for every $1 a man makes.

But unmarried women of color are the ones who suffer the most from the wage gap: For every $1 the average man makes, an unmarried African-American woman makes 52¢, an unmarried Latina makes 48¢, and an unmarried Native American woman makes only 47¢. Those numbers look even worse when we consider how long the average woman in each of those groups would have to work just to make the same amount of money the average man made in 2015:

equal-pay-breakdown

That’s just depressing.

And it’s not going to change until policymakers at the state and federal level acknowledge that there’s a problem, and take action to solve it. That’s why efforts like Equal Pay Day are so important, to put pressure on officials to do something about the wage gap.

Please do your part and spread the word.

Read the full memo from the Voter Participation Center and Lake Research Partners about the current wage gap and presidential candidates’ response to the wage gap: Equal Pay Day for Unmarried Women (PDF)

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Equal Pay Day 2016: Unmarried Women and the #WageGap by State

April 11, 2016

Tomorrow, April 12, is Equal Pay Day: a date that symbolizes how far into 2016 the average woman would have to work just to make as much money as the average man made in 2015. Women make, on average, 80¢ for every $1 a man makes—a gap that adds up over time, costing the average woman $430,480 in lost income over a 40-year career.

But as terrible as that is, it’s even worse for unmarried women. The average unmarried woman makes only 60¢ for every $1 a man makes.

To find out what the wage gap for unmarried women is in your state, check out this interactive map:

The Wage Gap for Unmarried Women

Hover your mouse over a state to see that state’s wage gap for all women, married women, and unmarried women.
Wage Gap for Unmarried Women (compared to men)
40%+
35-40%
30-35%
25-30%
20-25%
< 20%

Pay Gap by State

Yes, the wage gap for women, unmarried women, and unmarried women of color is real—and it’s a problem that won’t go away unless we do something. We need to demand that our policymakers and legislators at the state and federal level take action to end the wage gap.

Read the full memo from the Voter Participation Center and Lake Research Partners about the current wage gap and presidential candidates’ response to the wage gap: Equal Pay Day for Unmarried Women (PDF)

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RAE Spotlight: African-American Voters

 from Gearing Up for 2016 February 11, 2016

During Black History Month, we thought it would be a good time to take a deeper look at a key segment of the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—African-American voters.

  • Nine out of ten African-Americans voted for Barack Obama in 20121, and the coalition behind President Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 is still intact and growing.
  • In fact, the number of eligible African-American voters is projected to increase from 2012 to 2016 by 2.1 million.2
    2012-2016 Population Changes, African-Americans and RAE
  • In order to connect with African-American voters, and the RAE as a whole, candidates must champion a middle-class economic agenda combined with a political system reform agenda.
  • Over one-fifth of African-Americans live in poverty, according to recent Census data. In addition, many African-American women are still struggling economically with a median income of $35,000 a year and face a larger pay gap, making 70 cents for every dollar a white man makes.3
    The Pay Gap in 2016
  • VPC has generated over 700,000 voter registration applications among African-Americans since 2004.

Notes
1. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Democracy Corps, and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund. ”How unmarried women, youth and people of color defined this election,” 19 November 2012. Slide 33.
2. Lake Research Partners/The Voter Participation Center. “Gearing Up for 2016,” updated 25 September 2015. Slide 13.
3. Lake Research Partners/The Voter Participation Center. “Gearing Up for 2016,” updated 25 September 2015. Slide 61.

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Unmarried Women and the Wage Gap

 from The Wage Gap, State by State January 27, 2016

Seven years ago, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as a step toward closing the pay gap between men and women. Progress has been made since then, but women still only make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the disparity is even greater for unmarried women, who earned just 69 percent compared to every dollar a man makes.

One out of every two women in the United States is unmarried – divorced, separated, widowed or never been married – and their numbers are growing rapidly. This November, for the first time in our history there will be more unmarried women eligible to vote than married women.

But unmarried women are living in a very different, harsher economic reality than married women:

  • Unmarried women are twice as likely as married women to be unemployed. (7.3% unmarried women; 3.1% married women)
  • Unmarried women are four times as likely as married women to be living in poverty. (21.7% unmarried women; 5.6% married women)
  • Unmarried women are more than three times more likely than married women to earn the minimum wage (45.4% unmarried women; 13.5% married women) or below minimum wage (49.7% unmarried women; 15.9% unmarried women)

Clearly, for unmarried women, “equal pay can’t wait.” But at the current rate, the pay gap won’t be eliminated for more than 100 years. That’s why we are applauding state lawmakers in more than 20 states who will celebrate the 7th Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Act on January 29th by joining a nationally-coordinated effort to introduce legislation in their states to ensure women are paid equally for doing the same work as men.

See what the wage gap is in your state. The disparity from state to state is startling.

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