The Annual Spending Power Gender Gap: North America

Narrowing the gender gap is an important initiative for many countries. And while efforts to close the gap—particularly the gender wage gap—are underway, we’ve uncovered a different gender gap worthy of further discussion using MarketPro. According to our models, the annual spending power gender gap is expected to increase over the next decade in favor of men.

Worldwide, the average difference in annual spending power between men and women will nearly double from $236.62 today (in 2011 PPP) to $467.17 by the end of 2030, an increase of 97.43% in favor of men. In total, this is an increase from $1.11 trillion to $1.79 trillion (61.26%) even though forecasts indicate that there is expected to be 12,009,856 more women than men in the world. Currently, there are 27,226,496 more men than women.

In this series about the gender power spending gap, we will explore this trend by breaking this analysis down across specific regions.

North America

The annual spending power gender gap across North America, which in our analysis includes Central America and the Caribbean island nations, is expected to increase 23.7% over the next decade from $1,108.95 to $1,371.78, a growth well below the world average but still resulting in an average increase of $262.83.

Canada

As of 2019, the average spending power of a man in Canada is $25,453. For a woman, it is $24,344, resulting in an extra $1,109 of consumption power in favor of men. By 2030, these numbers will change to $27,587 for men and $26,404 for women and the gender gap will increase to $1,183, an increase of $74 (6.7%) well below both the North American and world average. Spending power growth between genders is expected to be roughly the same over the next decade (on average 8.46% for a woman and 8.39% for a man).

United States

In the United States, the story is quite different compared to its neighbors to the North. The current spending power gender gap in the United States, the largest in all of North America, is $1,561 in favor of men who have an average annual spending power of $39,940. American women currently have an average spending power of $38,379. This gap is expected to widen to $1,809 over the next decade, an increase of $248 (15.9%) even though spending power growth is expected to be roughly the same for men and women, 10.45% and 10.23% respectively. On average, spending power will increase to $43,206 for a man and $42,305 for a woman. Ultimately, the United States’ influence in the spending power gender gap in North America is substantial since the country accounts for over 80% of total North American spending power and this is expected to continue over the next decade.

Mexico

Moving further south, the story changes—the gender power spending gap is narrower. Annual spending power for a man in 2019 is $10,430 and for a woman, $10,090, resulting in a difference of $340. However, over the next decade, this is expected to widen to $520, an increase of $180 (53%). By the end of 2030, the annual spending power for a Mexican man is expected to be $12,578 and for a woman, $12,058. Deviating from the US and Canada, growth in spending power is over 1% in favor of men (20.6%) than women (19.51%).

Central America [1]

Overall, average spending power per capita continues to decrease as we move further south. In Central America, the spending power gap is currently only $66 but this will increase to $96 by the end of 2030, a 45% increase similar to what is forecasted in Mexico but on a smaller scale. It is important to note that average spending power for both men and women in Central America varies significantly between countries. Average spending power per capita varies between $3,421 in Nicaragua to $13,055 in Panama. However, when it comes to the the annual spending power gender gap, the story is not as straightforward as the countries further north. In Central America, there are three countries (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) where the gender gap is in favor of women ($76, $79, and $73 respectively), representing the only countries in all of North America to exhibit this trend. Over the next decade, the gap in favor of men is expected to both narrow (Belize and Costa Rica) and widen (Nicaragua, Panama). The gap in favor of women will also narrow (Guatemala), and widen (Honduras and El Salvador).

The Island Nations [2]

Comparing the island nations of North America, the gender power spending gap is entirely in favor of men and is forecasted to widen in all countries except for Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. On average, a man has $509.34 more to spend than a woman. This gap will widen to $661.36, an increase of $152.02 (29.8%).

North America’s current annual spending power gender gap ($1,108.95) is overall much higher than the world average ($236.62) due to the large influence of the United States, which has the largest gender spending power gap in North America ($1,561) followed by the Dominican Republic ($1,114) and Canada ($1,109). Even though the US is expected to continue to have the largest spending power gender gap by the end of the next decade, the largest increase in the gender gap is expected to take place in the Dominican Republic ($315.09) followed by the US ($248.35) and Mexico ($180.37). The largest decrease in the gender gap is expected to be in Costa Rica (-$125.17 in favor of women) and Saint Lucia (-$52.53 in favor of women). By the end of 2030, the countries with the smallest difference in spending power between genders will be Costa Rica ($5.90 in favor of men), Haiti ($24.21 in favor of men), and Guatemala ($49.71 in favor of women). While progress is being made on closing the gender gap in various dimensions, it’s clear that if current trends remain the same, men will still have an advantage by the end of the next decade.

[1] This includes the following countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

[2] This includes the following countries: Cuba,The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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