Special Report

The 16 Metro Areas Where Young Women Make More Than Men

Women earn less than men in many fields. One reason for the gender wage gap is termed “sex segregation by occupation,” meaning women disproportionately enter certain fields that pay less well. Examples include child care and retail. Another reason is simply persistent gender discrimination. The sad truth is that men often earn more even in women-dominated fields. (These are the lowest paying jobs in America.)

The good news is that there are some geographies where the playing field is more even, especially among the younger adults. In fact, there are more than a few cities where young women outearn men. (These are the worst states for women to live and work.)

To determine the 30 metro areas where young women outearn men, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed an analysis from Pew Research Center of wage data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The analysis found 30 major metro areas in which women under 30 have a higher median annual earnings than men under 30. 

One reason Pew Research Center has focused on young women is that inequality persists. People who start their career already behind tend to stay behind. Conversely, people who start out ahead tend to stay ahead, meaning these are metro areas where working women should have bright futures. 

In Wenatchee, Washington, No. 1 on the list, females under 30 have median annual earnings more than 120% of men’s. Next are Morgantown, West Virginia, and Barnstable Town, Massachusetts, where young women earn above 113% and 112%, respectively, of what young men earn. At No. 4 is Gainsville, Florida, where young women earn 110% of what young men earn. 

It may be worth noting that Washington, Massachusetts, and Florida are at opposite ends of the country, meaning women have opportunities for advancement across the country. Also, West Virginia often scores poorly on various socioeconomic rankings, so Morgantown deserves a shout-out.

Click here to see the 16 metro areas where young women make more than men

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