Mississippi is the only state to still not have an equal pay law, though it’s possible that will change soon.

House Bill 770 and Senate Bill 2451 include language that would provide legal recourse for employees being paid more or less than their counterparts of the opposite sex for the same work. A combination of both pieces of legislation will likely be passed into law before the legislative session concludes this week. However, Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, a Black women’s group, criticized these proposals in late January for “glaring flaws” that would still allow employers’ loopholes to legally pay women less, among other things.

View the most current data on the gender pay gaps in the Southern United States:

WATCH: Black Women’s Roundtable discusses equal pay bills

In Mississippi, there is a 22.6% difference between the earnings of full-time, year-round working women and men in the state. That also translates to a difference of $9,755 for the average annual salary. Some places unlike Mississippi have significantly bigger monetary differences despite ultimately having smaller percentage pay gaps.

For example, Virginia's gender pay gap in dollars is $12,442. But, because women and men in Mississippi earn, on average, less than Virginians, the smaller dollar amount difference in the gender pay gap here still creates a bigger percentage change.

Quick math: Gender pay gaps compared


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Nigel Dent, a native of Natchez, is Mississippi Today’s audience journalist. He works as a member of the audience team to engage with readers, create audience-centered resources and distribute Mississippi Today’s news across various digital platforms, including social media and newsletter products.