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Washington D.C., San Jose top list of cities for women earners

Wednesday, February 13, 2013  
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Women’s median yearly income is influenced by where they live and work, with those in the Washington D.C. metro area making the most, according to a Forbes study based on U.S. Census information.

Women earn a median yearly income of $57,218 in Washington D.C., according to the Forbes report, based on data from the 2011 American Community Survey. The survey, which tracks earnings of male and female full-time workers across the country, found lucrative professional fields, such as law and politics, in the U.S. capital boost women's salaries to nearly three times the salary women earn in lowest-paying Opelousas, La., where women earn a median $21,658 per year.

Seven metro areas in California made the list's top 20, including San Jose (No. 2 on the list with a median salary of $56,499) and San Francisco (No. 4, $54,376). Reasons for California's frequent appearance on the list include the state's considerable job population in innovative and high-paying fields, such as engineering and computer science, and a relatively high cost of living, which influences salaries. Other California cities on the list include Napa, Oxnard, Vallejo, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz.

The survey also found that urban centers in the Northeast make up several of the highest-paying cities. Bridgeport (No. 3 on the list with a median salary of $54,844) and three other cities in Connecticut (Torrington, Hartford and New Haven), along with Boston, New York and Baltimore, are home to top-rated universities and a high concentration of professional jobs, factors that raise salaries.

The Top 20 list also included these metro areas: Trenton, N.J.; Boulder, Colo.; Ocean City, N.J.; Olympia, Wash.; and Barnstable Town, Mass.

The survey found few cities where full-time female workers earn as much as or more than their male counterparts. They are Key West, Fla.; Sebring, Fla.; Madera, Calif.; and Fort Payne, Ala.

Women who are one year out of college and working full time earn only 82 percent of their male counterparts, according to the American Association of University Women. Even in top-ranked Washington, D.C., women earn just 81 percent of the male median salary of $70,758.


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