Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women

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5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 87.8%
> Median earnings for men: $40,731
> Median earnings for women: $35,756

The typical female working full-time in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area earns $35,756 a year, nearly 88% of the earnings of a typical full-time working male.

Women are relatively well represented in the city’s agriculture industry. Roughly four in 10 farming, fishing, and forestry occupations in the metro area are filled by women, one of the highest concentrations of any major metro area’s agricultural industry. The typical female agricultural worker in Miami earns $19,221 a year, just $500 less than her male counterpart — nearly the smallest such pay gap nationwide. According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if Florida’s gender pay gap continues to narrow at its current rate of progress, women in Florida will earn as much as men by 2038 — before any other state.

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4. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 89.0%
> Median earnings for men: $42,775
> Median earnings for women: $38,062

In the Little Rock metro area, the typical woman working full time earns 89 cents for every dollar a man earns. In comparison, the median income for women nationwide is only about 80 cents for every dollar men earn. The lower-than-average wage gap is likely partially the result of income in office and administrative support occupations, the most common field of employment in the metro area. Within this field, the typical full-time female worker earns $1.04 for every dollar the typical man earns.

Other industries in the Little Rock metro area are not nearly as favorable for women. In the legal field, the median income among women is only 38% of the median income among men in the field. The pay gap in the legal profession does not have a large effect on the overall wage gap, however, as such jobs comprise only 1.4% of all employment in the metro area.

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3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 89.9%
> Median earnings for men: $46,108
> Median earnings for women: $41,460

Hollywood often captures the headlines regarding the vast gender pay gap among female and male actors. Still, women working in the Los Angeles entertainment business are paid relatively well compared to other metro areas, which contributes to an overall lower gender pay gap in the metro area. Women in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media field earn 92% of the median earnings of men in the profession, a smaller pay gap than the 85% national figure.

While a larger share of Los Angeles residents work in arts and entertainment than in any other city, the most common profession in the metro area is administrative support. Women working in office and administrative support positions in the Los Angeles metro area earn 6% more than men in the field, while nationwide they are paid 11% less.

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2. Fresno, CA
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 92.0%
> Median earnings for men: $41,766
> Median earnings for women: $38,407

A typical woman working full time in the Fresno metro area earns 92 cents for every dollar a man earns, the second smallest gender pay gap nationwide. One factor contributing to the national gender pay gap is the large share of married women who are unable to put work ahead of family responsibilities — and women in Fresno are less likely to have these responsibilities. About 37% of adult women in Fresno have never married, the third largest share of any major metropolitan area. Women in Fresno are paid more than men in a number of professions, including computer and math occupations, life, physical, and social science occupations, and education and library occupations.

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1. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 92.8%
> Median earnings for men: $45,666
> Median earnings for women: $42,365

Overall, a woman working full time in Durham-Chapel Hill earns nearly 93 cents for every dollar a man earns, the smallest pay gap of any major U.S. metro area. The relatively small pay gap in the Durham-Chapel Hill metro may be due in part to the presence of large research institutions such as Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which can offer high-paying jobs with flexible hours. A larger share of Durham and Chapel Hill residents works in education occupations and in life, physical, and social science occupations than in any other metro area. The typical female scientists working in the metro area earns $72,321 a year, about $1,500 more than median earnings for male scientists working in the area.