The District has a higher percentage of female residents than any of the 50 states, according to census data released Thursday.

About 52.3 percent of D.C. residents are female, just outpacing Rhode Island and Maryland at 51.6 percent each, according to census data. Alaska, at the other extreme, is 52.1 percent male.

Women are drawn to the region by job opportunities, according to Washington Area Women's Foundation President Nicola Goren. The median annual income for women in the Washington area is $51,000, she said, compared with $35,500 nationally.

"There are many jobs here for women [with] college degrees, and an increasing number of women have those," Goren said. "The federal government is very attractive."

Because of the job market, much of the imbalance can be attributed to women who move to the region from elsewhere. For women who have lived in D.C. their whole lives, however, the story can be different.

"For many born-and-raised Washingtonians, it's a very hard place to live and make a living," Goren said. "One in five women in the District lives in poverty. It really is a tale of two cities."

- Matt Connolly