Income & Savings Gap
Workplace bias creates obstacles to employment for LGBTQ workers: Resumes for gay and lesbian workers receive fewer callbacks than resumes for general applicants; 1-in-10 of LGBTQ workers report discrimination in hiring, promotion, and salary decisions.
Employment and Income gaps help explain why—despite higher educational attainment on-average—LGBTQ workers earn less than het/cis peers.
In recent reporting:
- Lesbians earn 21% less, on average, than straight women.
- Gay men make 10% to 32% less than straight men.
- Bisexual women earn 30% less; men may make slightly more.
- Trans people are 4x more likely to make less than $10,000 a year than the general population (15% vs. 4%).
A 2019 report from the Williams Institute found 1-in-5 LGBTQ people in the United States live in poverty, vs. 1-in-10 (16%) of het/cis peers.
Savings & Assets
According to marketing studies, LGBTQ people spend the same portion of their income on discretionary items as het/cis peers. Despite similar purchasing patterns, more LGBTQ consumers report difficulty maintaining savings, 44% vs. 38%.
LGBTQ consumers are less likely to have a savings account (40% of vs.47%) than the general population, and also less likely to own investments such as stocks (18% vs. 23%) or mutual funds (15% vs. 21%).
The inability to accumulate savings negatively affects LGBTQ financial security and homeownership. In 2017, Freddie Mac reported that LGBTQ consumers were 75% as likely to be homeowners (49%) than to the general population (64.3%). 7-in-10 LGBTQ renters in the report identified insufficient down-payment savings as a critical obstacle that has prevented them from buying a home.
Lack of ability to create savings also leaves LGBTQ consumers less prepared for retirement. LGBTQ consumers are less likely to have employer retirement plans (35% LGBTQ vs. 40% gen. pop.) and much less likely have Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) (18% vs. 30%).
A lack of retirement savings leaves LGBTQ elders financially insecure and with less ability to care for themselves. Half of LGBTQ seniors (51%) are concerned about having enough money to live on during retirement (vs. 36% het/cis peers), and 42% expect to outlive the amount they have saved (vs. 25%).