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This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

Women's income in the US accounts for about 81% of men's income over the past few years, according to the US Census Bureau. Although that number has steadily increased over the decades, researchers predict that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could affect women's pay.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics clearly shows that the COVID-19 crisis had a disproportionate impact on women's participation and unemployment, and many analysts believe this will have an impact on women's incomes.

In this study, SmartAsset identified the best cities to pay for women in the run-up to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is SmartAsset's third annual study of the best cities for women. Take a look at the 2020 version here.

We compared the 150 largest US in four metrics: median earnings for women, growth in women's earnings, women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings, and change in women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings. Both metrics that examine changes over time take into account the years 2017 and 2019.

For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, see the Data and Methodology section at the end.

1. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North CarolinaSean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Raleigh, North Carolina ranks in the top quarter of cities on all four metrics in our study. It has the 32nd highest median income for women (about $ 50,300) and women's income makes up the 10th highest percentage of men's income (nearly 96%).

Between 2017 and 2019, Raleigh had the sixth largest increase in income for women (18.62%) and the fourth highest increase in women's income relative to men's income (13.05%).

2. Tacoma, WA

Tacoma at nightSean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Women in Tacoma, Washington, earn around $ 49,700 on average.

While that number doesn't fall in the top fifth of the study, Tacoma is in the top 15 cities on our other three metrics: women's income rose more than 17% between 2017 and 2019, and women's income rises to about 93 % of men's income from earnings – almost 10% higher than 2017.

3. Huntington Beach, CA.

Huntington Beach Californiaf11photo / Shutterstock.com

Women's income as a percentage of men's income rose the most in Huntington Beach, California compared to any other city in our study.

Data from the Census Bureau show that the gender pay gap there closed by almost 16% between 2017 and 2019. Huntington Beach also has the twelfth highest median earnings for women at $ 61,148.

4. Sacramento, CA.

Sacramento, CaliforniaAndrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

Sacramento, California has the smallest pay gap of any 150 cities in our study. In 2019, women's income was 99.05% of men's income. That number is 7.27% higher than 2017.

In gross terms, the median women's income in Sacramento is around $ 50,400, the 31st highest of the cities we looked at.

5. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City, New Jerseyf11photo / Shutterstock.com

Women's income in Jersey City, New Jersey rose by the second highest rate of any city in the study.

Between 2017 and 2019, the median income of women increased by 22.82%. As a result of this growth, Jersey City's median earnings for women in 2019 is the seventh highest overall at $ 62,530.

6. St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg, FloridaBrian Lasenby / Shutterstock.com

Women's income in St. Petersburg, Florida has increased significantly in recent years. The median salary for women was under $ 40,400 in 2017 and over $ 45,700 in 2019. This corresponds to a two-year growth of 13.39%, the 19th highest in our study.

Compared to men, women in St. Petersburg earn about 8% less on average.

7. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, HawaiiMNStudio / Shutterstock.com

Honolulu, Hawaii ranks in the top third of our study for all four of the metrics we considered. It has the 38th highest median earnings for women (approximately $ 47,700) and ranks 45th for women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings (88.51%).

Between 2017 and 2019, the capital of Hawaii saw the 20th largest increase in women's income (13.24%) and the 19th largest change in women's income as a percentage of men's income (nearly 7%).

8. Portland, OR

Hiking in Portland, OregonRajat Chamria / Shutterstock.com

From 2017 to 2019, the median income of women in Portland, Oregon rose 18.40% – the third largest increase of any city in our top 10 and the seventh largest overall.

With that spike, Portland has the 17th highest median earnings for women in 2019 at more than $ 55,200.

9. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Harbor, Maryland tugboatCascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com

Baltimore, Maryland is in the study's top 20 cities for two metrics: women's income as a percentage of men's income (92.31%) and women's income growth as a percentage of men's income ( 6.47%).

2019 Census Bureau data shows the median salary for women in Baltimore is $ 47,500, the 39th highest of all 150 cities in our study.

10. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusettsf11photo / Shutterstock.com

Boston, Massachusetts rounds out our list of top cities for women's salaries. The average salary of women in Boston is the eleventh highest in our study at around $ 61,700.

Boston is also in the top 25 women's income as a percentage of men's income (91.88%) and two-year growth in women's income (12.23%).

Data and methodology

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To find the best cities to pay for women, SmartAsset researched the 150 largest cities in the United States. We compared these cities using four metrics:

  • Median income for women. The data comes from the Census Bureau's 2019 annual American community survey.
  • Women's income as a percentage of men's income. This is the median earnings for women divided by the median earnings for men. The data comes from the Census Bureau's 2019 annual American community survey.
  • Growth in women's income. This is the change in median income for women from 2017 to 2019. The data come from the 2017 and 2019 American Community Surveys conducted by the Census Bureau.
  • Growth in women's income as a percentage of men's income. This is the difference between women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings in 2017 and 2019. The data comes from the 2017 and 2019 annual American community surveys conducted by the Census Bureau.

In all cases, the income figures apply to full-time employees aged 16 and over.

To come up with our final list, we ranked each city in each metric and fully weighted all metrics. We then determined the average ranking of each city and determined a final result based on the average. The city with the best average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of zero.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation for clicking links in our stories.

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