Women’s Well-Being Ranking America’s Top 25 Metro Areas
Women's Well-Being: Rankings America's Top 25 Metro Areas
Women's Well-Being: Ranking America's Top 25 Metro Areas is a research brief by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, Co-Directors of the Measure of America, a project of the non-profit Social Science Research Council based in Brooklyn, New York. Released on April 26th, 2012, the research brief is the first-ever study of women's well-being in urban America using the human development approach. While we often see comparisons between women and men as well as among different groups of men when it comes to earnings and education, less attention is paid to differences among women. Women living in the top twenty-five metro areas in the United States account for a surprisingly large share of the overall U.S. population - one in every five Americans. However, this large swath of the U.S. population is anything but a monolithic group. This analysis shows that the well-being of women living in metropolitan America varies tremendously by place as well as by race, ethnicity, age, and martial status. The study finds that, on the whole, women living in most major metro areas are doing better than the typical American woman. However, not all urban and suburban women have the same choices and opportunities; the study shows how basic indicators in health, education, and income intersect with other important factors, among them race, ethnicity, age, opportunities in the marketplace, and marital status, to form a more complete picture of the critical factors that shape the ability of different groups of women to live freely chosen lives of value. The brief has attracted the attention of the national and international news media including coverage in the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and Io Donna magazine published by Italy's Corriere della Serra newspaper, among others.
Key findings from the brief include:
- Women in Washington D.C. earn the most money (median personal earnings: $37,700), and have the highest levels of education, with an American Human Development Index score of 6.8 (overall U.S. score: 5.03; overall U.S. women’s score: 5.0), better than residents of Connecticut, the state with the highest overall levels of well-being.
- Women in San Francisco, with an American Human Development Index score of 6.72, have the highest life expectancy, 84.5 years.
- In bottom-ranked Riverside-San Bernardino, with an American Human Development Index score of 4.54, one in five adult women never completed high school, and the typical female worker earns about $22,300 a year. Women here can expect to live 81.7 years.
The brief was made possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.