On average, women earn 83 cents for every dollar a man makes — yet single women own roughly 10.7 million homes, compared to 8.1 million for single men, according to a recent analysis from LendingTree that looked at 2021 Census data. That’s a surprising statistic considering the financial hurdles women have historically faced, said Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economist and the author of the analysis.
The reasons for women’s unequal homeownership vary by age group. Among older women, longer life expectancies are a factor, said Rutgers professor James Hughes, who studies demographics and housing.
“If women become a widow and the couple previously owned a house, most likely the homeownership shifted from male to female,” Hughes said, noting that women are expected to live until age 81 on average, compared to 76 for men.
Hughes noted that more women today are college-educated than men, which gives more of them the opportunity to buy a home on their own, since college degrees translate to earning more money later in life. “Women have more wherewithal now than, say, 20 years ago, even though that (wage) gap exists,” he said.
Delaware, Florida and Maryland have the widest gender gap among single homeowners, LendingTree found. In Florida, that translates into 262,000 more single women owning homes than men. Single men out-own homes in only North and South Dakota — states where the job market skews toward male-dominated professions, such as oil rigging and construction.