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Women in Washington D.C. earn the most, study says

Friday, May 18, 2012  
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A woman’s well-being is closely linked to the place she calls home, according to a report by Measure of America.

Focusing on the 25 most-populated metropolitan areas in the United States, the study ranks each city based on the American Human Development Index (AHDI), which examines information on women’s educational attainment, life expectancy and median earnings. Women living in Washington D.C. earn the most money, with median personal earnings of $37,700, and have the highest levels of education. (Washington D.C. earned an AHDI score of 6.8 compared to the overall U.S. score of 5.03.)

Women in San Francisco, with an AHDI score of 6.72, have the highest life expectancy at 84.5 years. Rounding out the top five cities for women are Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York.

In bottom-ranked Riverside-San Bernardino, with an AHDI score of 4.54, one in five adult women never completed high school and the typical female worker earns about $22,300 a year. Women there can expect to live 81.7 years.

The study found that, on the whole, women living in major metro areas are doing better than the typical American woman. However, not all urban and suburban women have the same choices and opportunities.

Measure of America looked at how women’s marital status, race and ethnicity factored into overall well-being. One noteworthy finding: A higher percentage of single women tended to mean higher overall earnings for women in a given metropolitan area.

The report also found that African-American women have the shortest life expectancy and faced some specific health challenges, including higher rates of HIV infection. Asian and Latina women tend to outlive Caucasian and African-American women, even though Latina women fall behind when it comes to educational attainment.

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