Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Equal Pay

On August 30, 2023, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women’s earnings finally “caught up” to what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2022. On average, NHPI women earn only 61 cents for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men make.

The combined average for AANHPI women is 80 cents to the white, non-Hispanic male dollar. However, when this data is disaggregated, it reveals that the wage gap is even wider for some AANHPI women. NHPI women in particular face tremendous disparities including stark wage gap inequities.

NHPI Equal Pay Panel

On September 25, 2023, NAPAWF and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) held a virtual panel discussion to highlight the state of NHPI Equal Pay. This discussion provided critical insight to the necessity of more conversations, research, and policy that center the lived experiences and needs of the NHPI community.

The Wage Gap for AANHPI Women, by Ethnicity

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Ethnicity vs. Earnings ratio compared with white, non-Hispanic men. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders highlighted in blue.

Source: NWLC calculations based on 2017-2022 American Community Survey 5-year estimates using IPUMS-USA available at White, non-Hispanic men typically made $51,790. Respondents to the American Community Survey self-identify their sex as either male or female and self-identify their race or whether they are of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.

NAPAWF is joining a social media push led by Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) to raise awareness of how NHPI women experience the wage gap and the larger economic injustices that limit their ability to care for themselves, their families, and their communities. 

View EPIC’s NHPI Equal Pay Social Media Toolkit  and follow the conversation on social media with #NHPIEqualPay!

Equal Pay is a Reproductive Justice Issue

The wage gap plays a large role in hindering women’s economic agency and autonomy. AANHPI women workers in 2022 on average made 80 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts. However, disaggregated data reveals that many women experience much larger wage gaps, particularly Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander women. For example, Burmese women earn only 50 cents for every dollar.

Even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ability to access abortion care often depends on how much money you make. With the constitutional right to abortion overturned, states across the country are implementing even more barriers to care — and these restrictions disproportionately harm people who don’t have the support or resources to overcome them.

More than one quarter (1.3 million) of Asian American and Pacific Islander women live in states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion. AANHPI women often work without paid medical, sick, or family leave, making it difficult or impossible to have the resources to take time off from work to travel and get the care they need.

Learn More

National Women’s Law Center: The AANHPI Wage Gap