Women in the workforce have strived for decades to close the gender pay gap, yet it still persists. In 2013, full-time female workers in the U.S. earned just 78 cents for every dollar earned by full-time working males.

That leaves a lot of room for improvement, especially in the country’s most 100 populous metro areas where women on average only make just over 71 cents per dollar men make. However, some metro areas have made significant progress towards alleviating the disparity in pay between men and women.

SpareFoot.com analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau to find the best and worst metro areas for gender pay gap advancement. To accomplish this, SpareFoot.com blended rankings of the Top 100 MSAs on four important factors:

  • Women’s median earnings in 2013 (the most recent year data is available)
  • Five-year growth in women’s median earnings (2009-2013)
  • Women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s in 2013
  • Five-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s. (2009-2013)

Each of the four factors were given equal weight.

Below are the top ten and bottom ten metro areas for gender pay gap advancement:

The rank given for each metric is the city’s rank among the Top 100 MSAs. The charts below show how the best and worst cities on our list stack up against each other for each of the four metrics.

The Top Ten

Albany, NY came in as the best all around metro for gender pay gap advancement.

1. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metro Area

2013 median salary: $30,021 (rank 18)
5-year growth median earnings: 12.9% (rank 7)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 74% (rank 36)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 7.1% (rank 13)

2. Syracuse, NY Metro Area

2013 median salary: $26,507 (rank 37)
5-year growth median earnings: 15.1% (rank 2)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 72.5% (rank 44)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 7.6% (rank 11)

3. Worcester, MA-CT Metro Area

2013 median salary: $30,307 (rank 14)
5-year growth median earnings: 9.3% (rank 21)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 70.2% (rank 59)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 11.4% (rank 1)

Des Moines, IA is one of four state capitals in the top ten metros for gender pay gap advancement.
Des Moines, IA is one of four state capitals in the top ten metros for gender pay gap advancement.

4. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metro Area

2013 median salary: $30,079 (rank 17)
5-year growth median earnings: 10.1% (rank 15)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 74.5% (rank 32)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 3.8% (rank 47)

5. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metro Area

2013 median salary: $26,163 (rank 46)
5-year growth median earnings: 13% (rank 6)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 75.7% (rank 25)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 4.8% (rank 35)

6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area

2013 median salary: $40,215 (rank 1)
5-year growth median earnings: 7.7% (rank 35)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 76.3% (rank 20)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 2.9% (rank 59)

7. Albuquerque, NM Metro Area

2013 median salary: $25,604 (rank 54)
5-year growth median earnings: 11.1% (rank 11)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 77% (rank 19)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 5.1% (rank 31)

 Female workers in the D.C. metro earned the highest median wage, a total of $40,215 in 2013.
Female workers in the D.C. metro earned the highest median wage, a total of $40,215 in 2013.

8. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY Metro Area

2013 median salary: $26,253 (rank 43)
5-year growth median earnings: 11.5% (rank 10)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 71.5% (rank 48)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 6.5% (rank 16)

9. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metro Area

2013 median salary: $34,493 (rank 4)
5-year growth median earnings: $10.2% (rank 14)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 73.7% (rank 38)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 2.7% (rank 62)

10. Jackson, MS Metro Area

2013 median salary: $25,335 (rank 59)
5-year growth median earnings: 9.2% (rank 22)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 77% (rank 18)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 5.3% (rank 28)

The Bottom Ten

 Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona, but lags behind most metros in gender pay gap advancement.
Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona, but lags behind most metros in gender pay gap advancement.

10. Tucson, AZ Metro Area

2013 median salary: $22,446 (rank 86)
5-year growth median earnings: 3% (rank 84)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 73.9% (rank 37)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 2% (rank 76)

9. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metro Area

2013 median salary: $31,505 (rank 8)
5-year growth median earnings: 1.2% (rank 91)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 61.7% (rank 97)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: -0.5% (rank 92)

8. Tulsa, OK Metro Area

2013 median salary: $23,684 (rank 76)
5-year growth median earnings: 8.1% (rank 30)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 65.5% (rank 89)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: -0.7% (rank 94)

7. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metro Area

2013 median salary: $26,033 (rank 49)
5-year growth median earnings: 0.7% (rank 95)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 71.2% (rank 50)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: -0.8% (rank 96)

change_in_percent_mens-1

6. Boise City, ID Metro Area

2013 median salary: $21,576 (rank 93)
5-year growth median earnings: 1.9% (rank 90
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 67.7% (rank 79)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 4% (rank 45)

5. Ogden-Clearfield, UT Metro Area

2013 median salary: $20,600 (rank 95)
5-year growth median earnings: 8.2% (rank 27)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 50% (rank 99)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 0.2% (rank 90)

change_in_womens

4. Stockton-Lodi, CA Metro Area

2013 median salary: $22,343 (rank 89)
5-year growth median earnings: -5.5% (rank 99)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 69.5% (rank 60)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 2.6% (rank 65)

3. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area

2013 median salary: $22,377 (rank 88)
5-year growth median earnings: 4.5% (rank 71)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 66.1% (rank 87)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: 2.3% (rank 70)

 Ancestory.com is based in Provo, UT where the median annual salary for women was $12,850 in 2013.
Ancestory.com is based in Provo, UT where the median annual salary for women was $12,850 in 2013.

2. Provo-Orem, UT Metro Area

2013 median salary: $12,850 (rank 100)
5-year growth median earnings: 7.5% (rank 37)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 39.3% (rank 100)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: -9.1% (rank 100)

1. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metro Area

2013 median salary: $21,638 (rank 92)
5-year growth median earnings: 0.5% (rank 96)
2013 median earnings as percentage of men’s: 63.2% (rank 96)
5-year growth in women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s: -0.7% (rank 95)

 

Photo credits: Tucson photo by Zereshk on Wikipedia.com / Provo photo by Coolcaesar on Wikipedia.com

Alexander Harris