Skip to main content
Rural Vision
News article12 April 2023Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy

Gender gap for income narrower in rural areas

Although pay inequalities for equivalent jobs persist in the European Union, Eurostat reveals that in 2021 the gender gap in median net equivalent income is smaller in rural areas than in urban areas. Yet, while this observation is based on a European average, the rural/urban differences in gender income gaps vary between Member States at the national level.

According to Eurostat, in the past decade in the European Union, men have had a higher median net income than women by about €800, which is almost 5% more. However, in 2021, the gender pay gap was slightly narrower in rural areas compared to cities, with the gap being 4.0% in rural areas and 4.8% in cities.

In 13 member states, gender income gaps were higher in cities than rural areas, with Lithuania and Malta having the highest differences in terms of the degree of urbanisation. On the other hand, 14 countries had income gaps higher in rural areas than cities, with Austria and Italy having the largest differences between the income gender gaps in urban and rural areas. Interestingly, in Austrian cities and Maltese rural contexts, the income gap was in favour of females.

To find out more about rural data, take a look at the Eurostat’s Rural Europe publication