Pink tax statistics: how does the pink tax impact women financially? 

1 min readLast updated February 29, 2024by Unbiased team

We take a closer look at the pink tax, a form of price discrimination that affects women’s lives and personal finances in a real way each year.


  • Pink tax includes sales taxes placed on menstrual hygiene products and gender-based pricing. 

  • Products marketed to women are 7% more expensive than those marketed to men. 

  • Women can pay as much as $2,381 for the same goods and services in one year as men do. 

  • Some US states and areas have banned pink tax and other discriminatory pricing. 

What is the pink tax? 

The term ‘pink tax’ is a type of price discrimination usually but not solely associated with state sales tax on menstrual products such as feminine pads and tampons. This is why the pink tax is also known as period or tampon tax.  

While these hygiene products are a necessity for many women, some US states tax them as luxury items while exempting other necessities, such as medication and groceries, from sales tax.  

Get a sense of how much this impacts women and their finances by taking a look at the following statistics. 

What are some other examples of the pink tax? 

The pink tax isn’t limited to women’s hygiene products – it’s also found in the inflated prices of other goods as well as services marketed to women.  

According to Gitnux, products marketed toward women are, on average, 7% more expensive than those marketed to men.  

Let’s dive into a few pink tax examples. 

Service disparities 

One area in which gender-based price discrimination is in the disparities in the costs of services aimed at women compared to those aimed at men. 

A Consumer Federation of America study analyzed insurance rates offered to female and male drivers with perfect driving records, aged 20, 40, and 60, and found that most large car insurance companies treated women as higher-risk drivers. Women were charged more than men for basic coverage almost twice as often as men were, with some women paying up to $100 more per year. 

A few other service provision pink tax examples sourced by Gitnux include: 

  • Women’s haircuts are 40% more expensive than men’s, on average. 

  • 53% of women were charged more for a mortgage loan than men. 

  • Women pay 15% more for a shirt to be dry-cleaned than men do. 

Clothing costs disparities 

The pink tax is also evident when it comes to disparities in the costs of women’s and men’s clothing.  

A few statistics from Gitnux that illustrate this price discrimination include: 

  • Girls’ jeans were found to be 13% more expensive than boys’ jeans. 

  • An identical shirt in all things but color costs $2 more when the color is pink. 

  • Women’s sneakers are 24% more expensive than men’s sneakers. 

  • On average, women pay 8% more for adult clothing than men do. 

  • Women’s underwear is 27% more expensive than men’s underwear. 

  • Women’s jeans are 10% more expensive than men’s jeans. 

How much does the pink tax cost women?  

Considering that the pink tax impacts so many aspects of women’s lives, the cumulative cost is significant.  

In 2020, the California Senate Committee on Judiciary and Senate Select Committee on Women, Work & Families revealed that, on average, women pay approximately $2,381 more than men do for the same goods and services per year. This can add up to approximately $188,000 in pink tax over an average woman’s lifetime.  

However, there’s more to this than higher prices.  

According to an Economic Policy Institute study, women earn approximately 20% less to the dollar than men – and the situation is even worse for women of color.   

Women are likely to spend more on necessities in the course of their lives than men are. Given the differences in prices, such as those revealed in New York’s Study of Gender Pricing in New York City, the pink tax means they experience a higher financial impact. 

A study by the College of New Jersey’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences found that period poverty (a term referring to the health crisis of women struggling to access menstrual hygiene products) increased by 35% between 2018 and 2021. 

Together with the gender pay gap, the pink tax exacerbates women’s economic vulnerability by diminishing their purchasing power.  

Are there any pink tax laws?  

While more than 20 states have passed laws aimed at diminishing or outlawing pink tax and other forms of price discrimination, there’s no federal pink tax ban, despite being introduced in Congress on multiple occasions. 

One of the first examples of a state targeting pink tax was California’s Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995. The Golden State passed new retail laws in 2023 to prohibit gender-based pricing for goods, to support women’s economic health, and to hold companies accountable.  

A few other states and US areas that explicitly outlaw pink tax and other price discrimination include New York State (2020) and Miami-Dade County, Florida (1997). 

Get expert financial advice 

While popularly associated with sales tax on menstrual hygiene products such as tampons and pads, the pink tax also includes wide-ranging gender-based discriminatory pricing.  

Over the course of her life, the average woman can pay almost $200,000 more than men for many of the same goods and services.  

Given the serious financial impact of the pink tax, it’s important for women to do what they can to lessen the effect. Seeking a financial advisor for expert financial advice is an excellent way to ensure that you manage your money, both in the short term and for the future.  

Unbiased matches you with a financial advisor that best suits your needs. 

Find a financial advisor now 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.