The 15 Best-Paying Cities for Millennial Women

Millennial woman with phone and sunglasses in the city
GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Self Financial.

Millennial women outpace men of their generation when it comes to earning college degrees, they have achieved record-high levels of labor force participation, and they continue to narrow the gender wage gap. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, median earnings for full-time millennial women are $38,000 compared with $43,000 for millennial men.

Young women’s median income has risen dramatically over the past 70 years. According to figures from the Current Population Survey, the median income for full- and part-time women ages 25 to 34 was just over $12,000 in 1948 (in 2018 dollars). As of 2018, that figure had increased by 161%, to over $32,000. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that over three-quarters of women ages 25 to 34 were in the labor force at the start of 2020.

Despite strides at the national level, millennial women’s earnings vary considerably across cities and states.

To find the best-paying metropolitan areas for millennial women, researchers at Self Financial, a company that helps consumers build credit, analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The researchers ranked metro areas according to the cost-of-living-adjusted median earnings for full-time millennial women. Researchers also calculated unadjusted median annual earnings for millennial women and men and the labor force participation rate among millennial women.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:

  • Small metros: 100,000-349,999
  • Midsize metros: 350,000-999,999
  • Large metros: 1 million or more

Here are the best-paying metropolitan areas for millennial women.

15. Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $42,174
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $45,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $52,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 83.8%
  • Cost of living: 6.7% above average

14. Buffalo, New York

  • Buffalo, New York
    Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

    Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $42,194

  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $40,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $44,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 81.7%
  • Cost of living: 5.2% below average

13. Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $42,194
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $40,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $48,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 84.0%
  • Cost of living: 5.2% below average

12. Philadelphia

Philadelphia, downtown evening rush hour.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $42,694
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $45,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $48,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 81.0%
  • Cost of living: 5.4% above average

11. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh
esb-professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $42,965
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $40,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $46,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 81.6%
  • Cost of living: 6.9% below average

10. Minneapolis

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Roger Siljander / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $43,372
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $44,500
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $50,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 87.5%
  • Cost of living: 2.6% above average

9. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
aceshot1 / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $43,526
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $40,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $45,400
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 81.0%
  • Cost of living: 8.1% below average

8. Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $43,668
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $40,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $42,500
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 79.6%
  • Cost of living: 8.4% below average

7. Seattle

Seattle, Washington
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $43,844
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $49,500
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $60,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 78.9%
  • Cost of living: 12.9% above average

6. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $43,996
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $42,500
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $44,500
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 79.1%
  • Cost of living: 3.4% below average

5. Boston

Boston, Massachusetts
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $44,658
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $51,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $60,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 84.5%
  • Cost of living: 14.2% above average

4. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. traffic with Capitol Building in background
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $46,689
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $55,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $60,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 84.7%
  • Cost of living: 17.8% above average

3. Hartford, Connecticut

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $48,972
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $50,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $50,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 84.4%
  • Cost of living: 2.1% above average

2. San Francisco

San Francisco street car
Tono Balaguer / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $49,392
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $65,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $70,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 81.9%
  • Cost of living: 31.6% above average

1. San Jose, California

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (adjusted): $51,005
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial women (unadjusted): $66,000
  • Median earnings for full-time millennial men (unadjusted): $80,000
  • Labor force participation among millennial women: 79.1%
  • Cost of living: 29.4% above average

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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