Women on the hunt for a thriving startup hot spot should turn their attention to inside the Beltway. The D.C. metro area has three locations in the top 10 ranking of U.S. cities where women are the most successful, according to financial technology company SmartAsset.

Arlington, Virginia, takes the top spot this year, with women making up nearly 40 percent of the business owners in the area. Additionally, the city has the highest-paid women in the study: The median full-time working woman earns about $80,000 annually.

Although it's tied with San Francisco, women in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, also make more than their counterparts in many other parts of the country. The full-time working women in the Northern Virginia enclave make a median salary of nearly $67,000 annually. Across the river, in Washington, D.C, women earn a little less but they make up nearly 40 percent of business owners. D.C. is eighth on the list and is reportedly a hub for women in tech, according to SmartAsset.

Inc. showed similar results in its annual look at the fastest-growing women-led businesses. The District of Columbia was ranked fourth on that list, with 11 female-led companies in the area, including the cyber security and IT government services firm A Prentice Ray & Associates (ranked No. 86 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list).

SmartAsset looked at the median earnings for full-time working women, as well as the number of women with high-level degrees and those who own businesses. They factored in information that includes women's unemployment rate and average housing costs as a percentage of a full-time working woman's income.

While the Beltway is home to several high-ranking cities, the remainder of the list features metropolitan areas spread across the country. Denver, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin also made the top 10 this year.

Published on: Apr 23, 2018