The ground state of a system of electrons accumulated in a pair of coupled symmetric quantum wires is analyzed on the basis of density functional theory. It is shown that, in a domain of physical parameters, electrons are localized in either of wires. The main contribution to the total energy of this system comes from the Hartree energy, or the electrostatic energy, and the exchange-correlation energy between electrons. The ground state is determined by a competition between these contributions: We have symmetric electron distributions when the Hartree energy dominates and asymmetric (localized) states are realized in the opposite case. This kind of simple system with bistable electronic states may be applied to semiconductor memory devices.