According to the Atlantic, Maryland’s female wage-earners have a lot to be grateful for. In the magazine’s ranking of the best states for working women, Maryland comes out on top (if you don’t count D.C., which we don’t).

Maryland’s working women have the highest average earnings ($42,164) of any state in the U.S. Okay, so D.C. women outearn their Maryland counterparts, but D.C.’s not a state and we refuse to compete with them. That’s more than $10,000 more than the national average, and nearly $20,000 more (!) than in the state with the lowest national average — North Dakota. Women’s earnings make up 40 percent of all the wages earned in the state — not parity, to be sure, but higher than nearly every other state.

The wily statisticians even came up with a “location premium” figure, which means the extra earnings that come from working in a particular state, with all other variables (education, skill, hours worked) averaged out. The average Maryland woman can thank our fair state for the extra $6,728 she’s making this year — a much nicer deal than the negative location premium ranking for states like Montana (-$7,871) and Virginia (-$6,948).

Clearly, a lot of Maryland (and D.C.)’s dominance in these rankings can be attributed to government jobs. Any other ideas why Maryland might have come out on top?