The top 10 cities where women are the most successful

Despite dismal news about the persistence of the gender pay gap, data shows that there are some areas where women today are making major strides towards achieving economic parity.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for women hit a low of 3.7% in March, which is less than half of the 8% unemployment rate women faced seven years ago. When it comes to creating their own opportunities, data from American Express shows that between 2017 and 2018, women in the U.S. started an average of 1,821 new businesses per day.

Personal finance site SmartAsset used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to identify the top cities where women are the most successful. To come up with the list, SmartAsset looked at 100 cities and ranked each location based on the percent of women with a bachelor’s degree, the median earnings for full-time working women, the percent of women-owned businesses, the unemployment rate for women, housing costs and the percent of full-time women who earn at least $75,000.

Madison, Wisconsin, is the top city, moving up from the third spot last year. In Madison, women face a low unemployment rate, and about 21% of women earn an annual income of $75,000 or more. Roughly 42% of businesses in Madison are owned by women.

Take a look below to see which other cities round out the top 10 list for where women are the most successful:

Photos by Coyle | Getty Images

10. Alexandria, Virginia

Median earnings for women: $65,994

Percent of women-owned businesses: 35%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 33%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 45%

9. Fremont, California

Median earnings for women: $67,818

Percent of women-owned businesses: 38%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 42%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 45%

8. Scottsdale, Arizona

Median earnings for women: $60,323

Percent of women-owned businesses: 28%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 28%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 37%

JacobH | Getty Images
Downtown Scottsdale and suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, with the White Tank Mountain Range in the background.

7. Chandler, Arizona

Median earnings for women: $51,227

Percent of women-owned businesses: 42%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 31%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 28%

6. Durham, North Carolina

Median earnings for women: $45,169

Percent of women-owned businesses: 46%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 29%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 21%

5. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Median earnings for women: $50,074

Percent of women-owned businesses: 33%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 28%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 28%

Skyhobo | Getty Images

4. Seattle, Washington

Median earnings for women: $62,930

Percent of women-owned businesses: 36%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 33%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 41%

3. Arlington, Virginia

Median earnings for women: $76,396

Percent of women-owned businesses: 33%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 32%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 53%

2. Plano, Texas

Median earnings for women: $52,028

Percent of women-owned businesses: 41%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 33%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 21%

1. Madison, Wisconsin

Median earnings for women: $48,472

Percent of women-owned businesses: 42%

Housing costs as a percent of women’s earnings: 30%

Percent of women making $75,000 or more: 21%

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