Health Insurance

All the Single Ladies … Pay More for Insurance

All the Single Ladies … Pay More for Insurance

Women spend nearly twice as much of their income on health insurance as men — and a look at how auto and life insurance stack up.
A single woman reviews an insurance bill.
A single woman reviews an insurance bill. Source: Getty Images

Single women in the U.S. consistently pay more in dollars and as a percentage of their earnings than men for health insurance, according to the newest ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

Women spent an average of 6.8% of their annual pretax income on health insurance in 2020, nearly double the 3.9% spent by men due to higher costs — $510 more — and the intractable gender pay gap.

This unequal impact plays out across age and income levels and continues into payments for auto and life insurance, the data shows.

Key findings

  • Single women spend nearly twice as much of their income on health insurance as single men. Single women spent an average of $2,406 on health insurance in 2020, or 6.8% of their annual income. Single men paid $1,896, on average, or 3.9% of their yearly income.
  • Single women put a higher percentage of their income toward health insurance than men in every age breakdown. This gap widens with age. For example, single women 65 and older spend 11.7% of their annual income on health insurance — more than three percentage points higher than men of the same age (8.4%).
  • The same scenarios hold across every income breakdown. Single women who earn less than $15,000 a year pay a whopping 20.7% of their income, on average, toward health insurance — versus 15.7% for men.
  • It’s not just health insurance either, as single women put higher percentages of their income toward auto and life insurance than single men. Women put 2.4% of their income, on average, toward auto insurance, versus 1.9% for men. And women put 0.7% of their income, on average, toward life insurance, versus 0.4% for men.

Women spend more of their income on health insurance than men

Single women spend nearly twice as much of their income on health insurance as single men, according to the ValuePenguin analysis. On average, single women spent $2,406 on health insurance in 2020, representing a sizable 6.8% of their annual income. However, single men paid $1,896 for health insurance, on average, or only 3.9% of their larger yearly income.

The study analyzed data from single individuals to more accurately show who is spending money and how much. It used data culled from the BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys, which define health insurance as "traditional fee-for-service health plans, preferred-provider health plans, health maintenance organizations, commercial Medicare supplements and other health insurance."

While the ValuePenguin study mainly covered 2020 expenditures, an exploration into the data from 2016 and 2019 demonstrated the same experiences. Women consistently pay more of their paycheck by dollar amounts and percentages to cover their health insurance costs while earning less.

For example, women kicked in more of their income on health insurance than men in 2016 and 2019. While average pretax income rose for women from 2016 to 2019 and again from 2019 to 2020, so did their insurance costs in dollars.

On average, women made $30,987 in 2016, $33,057 in 2019 and $35,530 in 2020, but their health insurance costs kept pace at 6.5% of their income or more. Single women spent slightly less of their income (6.8%) on health insurance in 2020 than in 2019 (6.9%), but their outlays as a percentage of income were still approaching 7%. In dollar amounts, women’s health insurance costs rose from $2,009 in 2016 to $2,406 in 2020, jumping from $2,287 the previous year.

Health insurance spending by gender

2016
2019
2020
Annual health insurance expendituresPercentage of income spent on health insuranceAnnual health insurance expendituresPercentage of income spent on health insuranceAnnual health insurance expendituresPercentage of income spent on health insurance
Women$2,0096.5%$2,2876.9%$2,4066.8%
Men$1,6544.0%$1,7963.9%$1,8963.9%

Source: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data.

While single women have spent an average of nearly 7% of their pretax income for health insurance in recent years, the data revealed single men pay an average of about 4% of their income for health insurance. The averages for single men were 4% in 2016 and 3.9% in 2019 and 2020.

The $1,896 average cost for men in 2020 is still $113 lower than the amount paid by women in 2016. Still, women’s average income before taxes of $35,530 in 2020 is not only lagging men’s annual average of nearly $48,994 for the same year, but also trails men’s average of $41,359 in 2016 by almost $6,000.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ESingle women spend nearly twice as much of their income on health insurance as single men, according to the ValuePenguin analysis. On average, single women spent $2,406 on health insurance in 2020, representing a sizable 6.8% of their annual income. However, single men paid $1,896 for health insurance, on average, or only 3.9% of their larger yearly income.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeBorder--root ShortcodeBorder--with-padding\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe study analyzed data from single individuals to more accurately show who is spending money and how much. It used data culled from the BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys, which define health insurance as \"traditional fee-for-service health plans, preferred-provider health plans, \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"HMO Plans: What Are They and How Do They Work?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/hmo-health-plans\"\u003Ehealth maintenance organizations\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E, commercial Medicare supplements and other health insurance.\"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWhile the ValuePenguin study mainly covered 2020 expenditures, an exploration into the data from 2016 and 2019 demonstrated the same experiences. Women consistently pay more of their paycheck by dollar amounts and percentages to cover their health insurance costs while earning less.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EFor example, women kicked in more of their income on health insurance than men in 2016 and 2019.\nWhile average pretax income rose for women from 2016 to 2019 and again from 2019 to 2020, so did their insurance costs in dollars.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EOn average, women made $30,987 in 2016, $33,057 in 2019 and $35,530 in 2020, but their health insurance costs kept pace at 6.5% of their income or more. Single women spent slightly less of their income (6.8%) on health insurance in 2020 than in 2019 (6.9%), but their outlays as a percentage of income were still approaching 7%. In dollar amounts, women\u2019s health insurance costs rose from $2,009 in 2016 to $2,406 in 2020, jumping from $2,287 the previous year.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EHealth insurance spending by gender\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd igcbSt\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"2\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd igcbSt\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E2016\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"2\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd igcbSt\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E2019\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"2\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd igcbSt\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E2020\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAnnual health insurance expenditures\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EPercentage of income spent on health insurance\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAnnual health insurance expenditures\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EPercentage of income spent on health insurance\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAnnual health insurance expenditures\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EPercentage of income spent on health insurance\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,009\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E6.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,287\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E6.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,406\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E6.8%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,654\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E4.0%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,796\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E3.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,896\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"14.28%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E3.9%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cp class=\"SortableTable--footnote\"\u003ESource: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"right\",\"right\",\"right\",\"right\",\"right\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"14.28%\",\"14.28%\",\"14.28%\",\"14.28%\",\"14.28%\",\"14.28%\",\"14.28%\"],\"data\":[[\"\",\"2016\",\"<<<\",\"2019\",\"<<<\",\"2020\",\"<<<\"],[\"\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EAnnual health insurance expenditures\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EPercentage of income spent on health insurance\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EAnnual health insurance expenditures\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EPercentage of income spent on health insurance\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\",\"\\u003Cstrong\\u003EAnnual health insurance 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Women vs. men: Health insurance spending by age

Single women pay a higher percentage of their pretax income for health insurance in every age category.

Health insurance spending by age (2020)

Pretax income
Annual health insurance expenditures
Percentage of income spent on health insurance
Women younger than 25$18,497$4382.4%
Women ages 25 to 34$46,944$1,2732.7%
Women ages 35 to 44$55,187$1,6092.9%
Women ages 45 to 54$45,656$1,6393.6%
Women ages 55 to 64$43,397$2,0774.8%
Women ages 65 and older$28,172$3,29311.7%
Men younger than 25$22,859$4141.8%
Men ages 25 to 34$53,531$1,0952.0%
Men ages 35 to 44$62,175$1,4382.3%
Men ages 45 to 54$66,750$1,7982.7%
Men ages 55 to 64$51,843$1,8693.6%
Men ages 65 and older$36,821$3,0988.4%

Source: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data.

As men and women age, the gap widens between the percentage men pay into their health care coverage and the higher percentages women pay. By ages 55 to 64, single women were paying 4.8% of their income in 2020 for health insurance, compared with men’s total of 3.6%, jumping to 11.7% as they reached 65 or older, while men’s share was 8.4%.

In women’s prime earning years — or ages 35 to 44 as reflected above — they spend almost 3% of their income on health insurance. Men’s top earning years are a decade later — ages 45 to 54 — and their health insurance allotment as a percentage of their paycheck is 2.7% during those years.

In addition, women spent more on a dollar basis for health care than men in every age group despite their lower earnings — except for 45- to 54-year-olds, where women paid $1,639 as opposed to men’s $1,798. Yet men were making more than $20,000 more, on average, than women in this age bracket — $45,656 annually, on average, for single women, compared with $66,750 for men.

Women pay for living longer

The average life expectancy is 79.9 for women in the U.S. and 74.2 for men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Insurers that charge more based on gender cite health risks as the main factor," says Robin Townsend, ValuePenguin health and life insurance expert. "Specifically, women are considered a higher risk because they tend to visit the doctor more frequently, have more complex medical issues — including pregnancy — and live longer than men."

A commonly referenced 2004 study on the lifetime distribution of health care costs found at the time that per capita lifetime expenditures were a third higher for women than men — $361,200 versus $268,700, respectively. It attributed these costs to the long life expectancy of women and the need for coverage.

And discrepancies in premiums between the genders would be even higher if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid weren’t factored in. Under the 2010 ACA law, insurers are prohibited from basing rates on gender for those who get ACA coverage on their own or through a small employer of 50 or fewer employees.

"The ACA gender law doesn’t apply to large companies with 51 or more employees, or to private insurance options like short-term medical," Townsend says. "This leaves a large number of women still subject to gender-based insurance rates."

Women vs. men: Health insurance spending by income

The scenario of women paying more held across every income bracket, too, the ValuePenguin analysis showed. Single women who earned less than $15,000 a year paid a gargantuan 20.7% chunk of their income, on average, toward health insurance — versus 15.7% for men. A single woman making an average of $8,130 can expect to pay a staggering $1,685 in health insurance premiums, the 2020 data showed.

The percentage of income paid toward health insurance diminished for both men and women as earnings increased, reflecting thousands more in income than average health insurance expenditures that don’t rise above $3,000 on average until age 65 or older.

Single women earning in the bracket containing the U.S. average pretax income for women of $35,530 paid a hefty 7.5% of their salaries toward health insurance in 2020. The salary bracket containing the average income for single men ($48,994) had an accompanying health insurance outlay of just 4%.

Health insurance spending by income (2020)

Pretax income
Annual health insurance expenditures
Percentage of income spent on health insurance
Women earning less than $15,000$8,130$1,68520.7%
Women earning $15,000 to $29,999$21,137$2,77013.1%
Women earning $30,000 to $39,999$34,348$2,5797.5%
Women earning $40,000 to $49,999$44,328$2,4495.5%
Women earning $50,000 to $69,999$58,574$2,4904.3%
Women earning $70,000 or more$110,557$2,8972.6%
Men earning less than $15,000$6,988$1,09915.7%
Men earning $15,000 to $29,999$21,564$1,9769.2%
Men earning $30,000 to $39,999$34,605$1,5994.6%
Men earning $40,000 to $49,999$44,554$1,7654.0%
Men earning $50,000 to $69,999$58,191$2,0503.5%
Men earning $70,000 to $99,999$81,444$2,2642.8%
Show All Rows

Source: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data. Note: The BLS tracks different categories for higher earners (a max of $70,000 or more for women, versus a max of $100,000 or more for men).

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class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd dktvfb\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPretax income\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd dktvfb\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EAnnual health insurance expenditures\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd dktvfb\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPercentage of income spent on health insurance\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen earning less than $15,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$8,130\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,685\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E20.7%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen earning $15,000 to $29,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$21,137\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,770\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E13.1%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen earning $30,000 to $39,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$34,348\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,579\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E7.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen earning $40,000 to $49,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$44,328\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,449\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E5.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen earning $50,000 to $69,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$58,574\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,490\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E4.3%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EWomen earning $70,000 or more\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$110,557\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,897\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E2.6%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen earning less than $15,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$6,988\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,099\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E15.7%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen earning $15,000 to $29,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$21,564\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,976\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E9.2%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen earning $30,000 to $39,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$34,605\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,599\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E4.6%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen earning $40,000 to $49,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$44,554\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$1,765\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E4.0%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen earning $50,000 to $69,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$58,191\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,050\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E3.5%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EMen earning $70,000 to $99,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$81,444\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$2,264\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"25%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E2.8%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv role=\"button\" class=\"StyledExpander-sc-1gnrutu gvWduk\"\u003EShow All Rows\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cp class=\"SortableTable--footnote\"\u003ESource: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data. Note: The BLS tracks different categories for higher earners (a max of $70,000 or more for women, versus a max of $100,000 or more for men).\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"right\",\"right\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"25%\",\"25%\",\"25%\",\"25%\"],\"data\":[[\"\",\"Pretax income\",\"Annual health insurance expenditures\",\"Percentage of income spent on health insurance\"],[\"Women earning less than $15,000\",\"$8,130\",\"$1,685\",\"20.7%\"],[\"Women earning $15,000 to $29,999\",\"$21,137\",\"$2,770\",\"13.1%\"],[\"Women earning $30,000 to $39,999\",\"$34,348\",\"$2,579\",\"7.5%\"],[\"Women earning $40,000 to $49,999\",\"$44,328\",\"$2,449\",\"5.5%\"],[\"Women earning $50,000 to $69,999\",\"$58,574\",\"$2,490\",\"4.3%\"],[\"Women earning $70,000 or more\",\"$110,557\",\"$2,897\",\"2.6%\"],[\"Men earning less than $15,000\",\"$6,988\",\"$1,099\",\"15.7%\"],[\"Men earning $15,000 to $29,999\",\"$21,564\",\"$1,976\",\"9.2%\"],[\"Men earning $30,000 to $39,999\",\"$34,605\",\"$1,599\",\"4.6%\"],[\"Men earning $40,000 to $49,999\",\"$44,554\",\"$1,765\",\"4.0%\"],[\"Men earning $50,000 to $69,999\",\"$58,191\",\"$2,050\",\"3.5%\"],[\"Men earning $70,000 to $99,999\",\"$81,444\",\"$2,264\",\"2.8%\"],[\"Men earning $100,000 or more\",\"$167,959\",\"$3,207\",\"1.9%\"]],\"footnote\":\"Source: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data. Note: The BLS tracks different categories for higher earners (a max of $70,000 or more for women, versus a max of $100,000 or more for men).\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":true,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Women spend more of their income on auto, life insurance than men

Despite the apparent higher health costs that push women’s premiums up, they don’t get off with lower costs for seemingly unrelated risks in auto and life insurance, either.

Single women also put higher percentages of their income toward auto and life insurance than single men. Women put 2.4% of their income, on average, toward auto insurance, versus 1.9% for men. And women put 0.7% of their income, on average, toward life insurance, versus 0.4% for men.

Auto insurance

Single women paid an average of $840 in 2020 for auto insurance, which includes the premiums paid for insuring cars, trucks and other vehicles, according to the BLS. Men paid $946.

While men pay more on a dollar basis on average than women, the percentage of income is greater for women because of the salary disparity between the sexes. The 2.4% of earnings that single women pay overall reflects an average income of $35,530, while men’s average of 1.9% reflects a salary of $48,994.

Women ages 25 to 34 pay the most for auto insurance at $1,097 annually on an average income of $46,944. That’s 2.3% of their earnings. Men’s most expensive age bracket in dollars is 45 to 54, where they pay $1,076 with average pretax earnings of $66,750. That’s only 1.6% of income in their prime earning years.

Auto insurance spending by age (2020)

Pretax income
Annual auto insurance expenditures
Percentage of income spent on auto insurance
Women younger than 25$18,497$3772.0%
Women ages 25 to 34$46,944$1,0972.3%
Women ages 35 to 44$55,187$1,0391.9%
Women ages 45 to 54$45,656$1,0412.3%
Women ages 55 to 64$43,397$9632.2%
Women ages 65 and older$28,172$7422.6%
Men younger than 25$22,859$5782.5%
Men ages 25 to 34$53,531$1,0251.9%
Men ages 35 to 44$62,175$1,0471.7%
Men ages 45 to 54$66,750$1,0761.6%
Men ages 55 to 64$51,843$9351.8%
Men ages 65 and older$36,821$8972.4%

Source: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data.

On an apples-to-apples (or same age bracket) comparison, a 25- to 34-year-old woman’s 2.3% share of pretax earnings going toward her auto insurance payment is still higher than a man’s average outlay of 1.9%, or $1,025 for auto premiums with average earnings of $53,531.

As women’s salaries inched up, their overall auto insurance outlays kept pace. Women paid an average of $717 a year for auto insurance in 2016 on an average salary of $30,987, or 2.3% of their salary. In 2019, similar to a year later, women paid 2.5% on average for auto insurance, paying $814 on an average pretax income of $33,057.

The percentage of earnings men pay for auto insurance has remained stable as well, but it constitutes much less of a salary bite than it does for women — again. It stood at 2.0% in 2019, as well, or $890 with pretax earnings of $45,566. However, men’s share of their earnings paid toward auto insurance premiums has crept up. In 2016, single men paid on average only 1.5% of their earnings for auto insurance, or $638 with average earnings of $41,359.

Factors that affect auto insurance premiums include personal credit scores, accident history and the state in which one resides.

Life insurance

Women also pay more for life insurance on a dollar basis and as a percentage of income than men, despite a longer life expectancy. On average, they paid $241, or 0.7% of their earnings, for life insurance in 2020. Men paid $194, or 0.4%, in the life insurance category.

The BLS definition of life insurance is broader. It includes premiums for whole life and term life insurance and endowments, mortgage guarantee insurance, mortgage life insurance and premiums for personal liability, accident and disability and other nonhealth insurance that doesn’t include homes and vehicles.

Women pay a high of $293 for life insurance in the 65-and-older bracket, reflecting a higher mortality at that point, while men pay a high of $262, on average, in the same age bracket.

Life insurance spending by age (2020)

Pretax income
Annual life insurance expenditures
Percentage of income spent on life insurance
Women younger than 25$18,497N/AN/A
Women ages 25 to 34$46,944$1050.2%
Women ages 35 to 44$55,187$2400.4%
Women ages 45 to 54$45,656$2080.5%
Women ages 55 to 64$43,397$2760.6%
Women ages 65 and older$28,172$2931.0%
Men younger than 25$22,859N/AN/A
Men ages 25 to 34$53,531$1510.3%
Men ages 35 to 44$62,175$1950.3%
Men ages 45 to 54$66,750$2070.3%
Men ages 55 to 64$51,843$1950.4%
Men ages 65 and older$36,821$2620.7%

Source: ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys data.

Strictly for term life insurance, men pay 23% more, on average, than women, according to a separate ValuePenguin analysis.

Life insurance premiums can also rise for smokers. The BLS data showed men paid double what women paid for tobacco and smoking products in 2020 — $318 and $156, respectively — though that didn’t appear to have a significant impact on overall expenditures.

Methodology

ValuePenguin researchers analyzed 2020 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Surveys to estimate the differences in health, auto and life insurance spending between women and men — overall, and then by age and by income bracket. Researchers also analyzed income and spending data from 2016 and 2019 to make comparisons.