IWPR’s Top 10 Research Findings of 2017

For IWPR, this year emphasized, at a basic level, the importance of facts and how easily inaccurate information can lead to harmful policies. We are grateful for our partners, supporters, social media followers, and others who have helped share our research and have used it to spark change for women and their families.

Below are our Top 10 findings from the year and a sampling of the impact of our research so far. The work continues in 2018!

1. The economic, social, health, and political status of Black women varies widely by U.S. state.

In June, IWPR and the National Domestic Workers Alliance released The Status of Black Women in the United States, one of the most comprehensive reports on Black women in every state, which builds on IWPR’s signature Status of Women in the States series to explore how Black women are faring across six different topic areas.

2. Number of single mothers in college doubled over a decade—and they are disproportionately more likely to attend for-profit colleges than non-parent peers.

The number of single mothers in college more than doubled in the 12 school years between 1999 and 2012, to reach nearly 2.1 million students—or 11 percent of all undergraduates. Nearly two in five Black women (37 percent) and over one-quarter of American Indian/Alaska Native women (27 percent) are raising a child on their own while in college, more than twice the rate of White women (14 percent).

3. Gender Wage Gap Narrows for First Time in a Decade, but Women Won’t See Equal Pay for 43 More Years

New annual earnings data were released in September, showing the first statistically significant narrowing of the gender wage gap since 2007.

4. Child care is critical to keeping women in the labor force and in school—and the Trump Administration’s child care proposals fall far short of what’s needed.

5. Health care costs, job instability, and reduced educational attainment compound the negative effects of violence.

In August, IWPR released a fact sheet that summarizes findings from research literature on the economic consequences and costs of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and stalking.

6. Receiving transportation assistance, child care, and other supportive services may improve the chances of completing workforce development programs and finding a job.

7. Instituting a national paid family and medical leave policy would provide vital benefits at an affordable cost.

8. Equal pay would cut the poverty rate for children with a working mother by half and add $513 billion in wage and salary income to the U.S. economy.

9. Stalking victims face economic barriers to safety: some of the groups most likely to experience stalking also have among the lowest levels of financial resources available to address the issue.

10. Women, particularly low-income women and women of color, have the greatest stake in effective and humane disaster recovery.