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RELEASE: 50-State Analysis Measures How Women Are Faring Across the Nation and Ranks the Best and Worst States for Women

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277
Email: mmeth@americanprogress.org

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a 50-state analysis that assesses how women are faring across the country. The report, “The State of Women in America,” uses 36 different health, economic, and leadership factors to measure disparities between states and rank the best and worst states for women.

The report finds that while substantial inequalities exist for women nationwide, women living in different states do not all have the same opportunity to help their families succeed, access health care, or advance into leadership roles. Women in Vermont, for example, make on average close to 85 cents for every dollar a man makes, while women in Wyoming make only 64 cents—more than 25 percent less than women in Vermont. On leadership, 15 states have no female elected leaders in the House of Representatives or the Senate. Lastly, while less than 10 percent of women in Vermont, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are uninsured, 26 percent of women in Texas do not have health insurance.

The analysis determined that on matters of economics, leadership, and health, women on average fare the best in Maryland and the worst in Louisiana. More than 22 percent of women in Louisiana are in poverty, compared to 11 percent of women in Maryland. Additionally, taking in all of the leadership factors considered, Maryland ranks first in the nation in terms of women reaching leadership positions in the public and private sector. Meanwhile, Louisiana receives a “D-” on overall leadership factors. Louisiana also receives an “F” on health factors, while Maryland receives a “B.”

According to the analysis, the 10 states where women fare the worst on matters of economics, leadership, and health are as follows:

  1. Louisiana
  2. Utah
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Alabama
  5. Mississippi
  6. Texas
  7. Arkansas
  8. South Dakota
  9. Indiana
  10. Georgia

In contrast, the 10 states where women fare the best are:

  1. Maryland
  2. Hawaii
  3. Vermont
  4. California
  5. Delaware
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut
  8. New York
  9. New Jersey
  10. Washington

Review the full 50-state ranking here.

“While women have come a long way over the past few decades, much remains to be done to ensure that all women can have a fair shot at success,” said Anna Chu, one of the authors of the report. “Today’s report shows that in many states, it is still difficult for women and their families to get ahead, instead of just getting by.”

Last week, the Center for American Progress, working with American Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Service Employees International Union, launched the “Fair Shot” campaign. The major new initiative is aimed at elevating the public policies that can address the issues laid out in the “State of Women” report. Learn more about the Fair Shot campaign here.

Related resources:

To speak to CAP experts on this issue, please contact Madeline Meth at mmeth@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6277.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org