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By Alicia Adamczyk
February 29, 2016
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Women looking to earn a healthy paycheck may want to consider a move to the East–and to the greater Washington, D.C., area in particular.

That’s according to WalletHub’s 2016 Best & Worst States for Women report, which analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 15 key metrics to determine where women in the U.S. are best off. The metrics range from median earnings to percent of women-owned businesses to the female uninsured rate.

The 10 states with the highest median earnings for female workers (adjusted for cost of living) are:

  1. District of Columbia: $34,241
  2. Virginia: $33,854
  3. Maryland: $31,975
  4. Delaware: $31,499
  5. Illinois: $30,909
  6. Minnesota: $30,415
  7. Colorado: $29,921
  8. Georgia: $29,913
  9. Indiana: $29,502
  10. Mississippi: $29.093

The 10 states with the lowest median earnings for female workers (adjusted for cost of living) are:

  1. Hawaii: $18,434
  2. Oregon: $20,137
  3. California: $22,573
  4. Montana: $22,728
  5. Maine: $23,159
  6. West Virginia: $23,162
  7. Vermont: $23,244
  8. Utah: $24,,117
  9. New York: $24,496
  10. South Dakota: $24,963

Alaska, Colorado, and Virginia have the highest share of women-owned businesses, while Vermont, Utah, and Nebraska have the lowest. The lowest unemployment rates for women are found in North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Vermont; Washington D.C., Nevada, and Mississippi have the highest unemployment rates.

But not everything is peachy in states with high median wages. While women may earn the most in places like D.C. and Delaware, they still earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. New York, Hawaii, and Maryland boast the smallest wage gaps of any state, while Baltimore, Tampa, and Minneapolis are the cities with the narrowest discrepancy.

“Equal pay is the biggest issue facing women around the world,” Siri A. Terjesen, assistant professor at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington, told WalletHub. “Across the country the gap is substantial—certainly in some cases, equal to or greater than the rate that personal income is taxed—so gender ends up being a tax on women.”

Read next: Why You Should Care About the Hollywood Wage Gap

Other experts interviewed by WalletHub pointed to affordable childcare as one of the biggest issues working women face today.

“For many women, childcare costs the same as what they make, which makes opting out of the workforce an easy choice,” Jennifer Beall, CEO of Tot Squad Baby Gear Services, said. “If the government could find ways to subsidize childcare for working parents, I think we would see more women working and making more.”

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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