Report ranks the best states for women | The Numbers Racket

By: - March 15, 2021 6:30 am

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 22: Devon Hartsough (2nd R) and Keyanna Wigglesworth (R) of the Alice Paul Institute join members of Congress and representatives of women’s groups for a rally to mark the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) outside the U.S. Capitol March 22, 2012 in Washington, DC. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a new version of the Equal Rights Amendment last year and called for it to be passed again. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The standards and treatment of women varies greatly across the nation, a report from WalletHub, a personal finance website found. 

Using 26 living standard indicators, WalletHub was able to compare data across the nation and rank each state based on its standards and treatment of women.

Some key indicators the study examined were earnings for female workers, preventative healthcare and female homicide rates by state. 

Source: WalletHub

Quick facts

The top 10 states for women are:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Maine
  3. Vermont
  4. North Dakota
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Iowa
  7. Washington
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Wisconsin
  10. South Dakota

The 10 worst states for women are:

51. Mississippi
50. Alabama
49. Arkansas
48. Louisiana
47. Oklahoma
46. South Carolina
45. Texas
44. Nevada
43. West Virginia
42. New Mexico

Where Pennsylvania finished: The Keystone State ranked 32nd overall among states.

Pennsylvania ranked: 

  • 25th in Median Earnings for Female Workers (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 42nd in Unemployment Rate for Women
  • 23rd in Share of Women in Poverty
  • 31st in Share of Women-Owned Businesses
  • 7th in High School Graduation Rate for Women
  • 29th in Share of Women Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election
  • 13th in Female Uninsured Rate
  • 32nd in Women’s Life Expectancy at Birth
  • 20th in Quality of Women’s Hospitals
  • 26th in Women’s Preventive Health Care

Employment rates

Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate among women, followed by North Dakota and Vermont. Massachusetts had the highest unemployment rate among women, followed by New Jersey and California. 

Poverty rates

New Hampshire, Maryland and Hawaii took the top three spots for lowest percentage of women in poverty while Kentucky, West Virginia and New Mexico had the highest percentages. 

Women-owned businesses

Another factor that contributed to each state’s ranking on the list was the percentage of women-owned businesses. 

Alaska, Colorado and Virginia took the top spots for highest percentage of women-owned businesses. 

By contrast, Vermont, Utah and Nebraska had the lowest percentage of women-owned businesses. 

Voting rates

When WalletHub looked at the voting rates of women by state, the District of Columbia, Maine and Wisconsin stood out with the highest percentage of women who voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee saw the lowest percentage of women who voted during the 2016 presidential election. 

COVID’s impact

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also placed added burdens on women, according to Andrea Johnson and Jenalyn Sotto of the National Women’s Law Center.

“To recover and rebuild from the pandemic and economic crisis, states must center the needs of women, especially women of color—at work, at school, at home, and in their communities,” Johnson and Sotto said. 

States can do that by “increasing families’ access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education; expanding access to comprehensive health coverage, including reproductive health care; expanding and strengthening state unemployment insurance programs; guaranteeing paid family and medical leave and paid sick days; raising the minimum wage, including for tipped workers; protecting workers’ safety and health, especially about controlling, preventing, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19; enacting eviction moratoriums and providing rental and mortgage assistance; investing in school counselors, not criminalization; and making the tax code help working families by establishing or strengthening state-level tax credits,” they said.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.