Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.
According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, fewer than 3 in 10 six-figure earners in the US are women. While far from fair, the percentage of women who cross the six-figure threshold is increasing along with the gender distribution of six-figure earners – which enables them to potentially budget, spend, save and invest more wisely. From 2014 to 2019, the proportion of full-time women earning $ 100,000 or more rose nearly 4 percentage points, from 8.34% to 12.11%. At the same time, the proportion of women rose in the six-digit range from 26.08% to 29.52%.
In this study, we took a closer look at the cities with the highest number of female six-figure earners by these metrics: the percentage of female workers making $ 100,000 or more and the percentage of women in the six-figure range. To determine our ranking, we compared the 100 largest cities in the USA and weighted them equally according to both metrics. For details on our data sources and how we put all of the information together to create our final rankings, see the Data and Methodology section at the end.
This is SmartAsset’s second annual study of the cities with the highest number of six-figure women earners. The 2020 edition can be found here.
1. Washington, DC
While the median income for full-time women workers in the country’s capital ($ 72,750) is only the fifth highest of the 100 largest US cities, Washington DC ranks 1st in this study because there are more than 1 in 3 women working full-time six figure earners. In addition, the city ranks third in the proportion of women with six-figure wages (43.40%).
2. Arlington, Virginia
Of the approximately 53,550 full-time female employees in Arlington, Virginia, approximately 20,800, or 38.92%, earn $ 100,000 or more. This is the second highest rate for this metric in our study. Arlington ranks 10th for the six-figure percentage of women, 39.13% of this high-income group.
3. Oakland, California
In this year’s edition of our study, Oakland, California is ahead of San Francisco and takes 3rd place. This city has the 10th highest percentage of female workers with a six-figure income (26.47%) and the sixth highest percentage of female workers in the six-figure range (41.41%). The average salary for full-time women in Oakland is approximately $ 61,400.
4. San Francisco, California
More than 4 in 10 women in San Francisco make $ 100,000 or more annually. This is the highest rate in our study for this metric. This city ranks 16th on our other ranking metric, the percentage of women in the six-digit range. The Census Bureau data shows that 37.37% of the city’s six-figure earners are women.
5. Boston, MA
Women in Boston, Massachusetts rank fifth in both 2020 and 2021, accounting for nearly 41% of the city’s six figure income earners. Boston also ranks 12th for the percentage of women who make $ 100,000 or more (22.81%).
6. New York, NY
While the median income for full-time women in New York City is about $ 55,200, about one in five women earns $ 100,000 or more. This city ranks ninth for the percentage of women who earn in the six-figure range. According to 2019 census data, women make up 40.56% of the six-figure income earners in the Big Apple.
7. Sacramento, California
Although less than 16% of full-time women workers in Sacramento, California earn six figures, the gender distribution among top earners is more even when compared to other cities. Women make up 44.24% of six-figure earners, the second highest rate for this metric in our study.
8.Durham, NC (tie)
Like Sacramento, Durham, North Carolina ranks significantly higher in the six-figure percentage of women than it does in the six-figure percentage of female workers. Durham has the fourth highest percentage of women in the six-figure range (43.20%) and the 24th highest percentage of women workers who earn $ 100,000 or more (15.29%).
8. Jersey City, NJ (tie)
Although the average salary for a full-time employee in Jersey City, New Jersey is about $ 63,000, many women earn more than the six-figure threshold. The US Census Bureau data shows that Jersey City has the eighth-highest percentage of women workers with six-figure incomes (27.51%) of the 100 largest cities. The city also ranks in the top fifth of the study when it comes to the six-figure breakdown by gender – more than 36% of this high-income group are women.
10. Atlanta, GA
While the median income of full-time women in Atlanta is around $ 53,900, nearly 23% of women there earn a six-figure figure (eleventh highest in our study). When it comes to higher-income gender distribution, Atlanta falls a little further behind, with women making up less than 37% of the six-figure income earners (the 22nd highest on our list).
Data and methodology
To find cities with the most female six-figure earners, SmartAsset compared data from the top 100 cities. We looked at two metrics:
- Percentage of women in employment with a six-figure income. This is the number of full-time employees who earn at least $ 100,000 divided by the total number of full-time employees.
- Proportion of women in the six-figure range. This is the number of full-time employees who earn at least $ 100,000 divided by the number of full-time employees (female and male) who earn at least $ 100,000.
The data for both metrics comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 annual American Community Survey. We ranked each city on each metric and then found the average rank of each city on the two metrics. This average ranking determined the final rating of each city. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
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