Special Report

The 10 Worst States for Women

3. Idaho
> Female earnings as pct. of male:
72.8% (7th lowest)
> Female median earnings: $31,019 (the lowest)
> Male median earnings: $42,624 (11th lowest)
> Pct. of management jobs held by women: 37.1% (9th lowest)

Women in leadership roles, Hartmann noted, are more likely to have women’s best interests in mind — be it passing legislation on behalf of women, or providing equal pay to similar employees. While women hold 27.6% of Idaho state legislature seats — higher than the nationwide proportion — there are no female congress members from Idaho, one of 13 states where this is the case. Similarly, women hold 37.1% of management positions in the state, lower than the national share of nearly 40%. In addition to leadership disparities, earning a living in Idaho is very different for men and women. A typical woman in Idaho earns $31,019 annually, the lowest annual wage among females nationwide, and $11,605 lower than the typical Idaho male earnings.

2. Wyoming
> Female earnings as pct. of male:
68.7% (3rd lowest)
> Female median earnings: $35,652 (20th lowest)
> Male median earnings: $51,926 (9th highest)
> Pct. of management jobs held by women: 37.6% (10th lowest)

Known as the Equality State for being the first state to grant women the right to vote, today, Wyoming is one of the worst states for women. The difference in median annual income between men and women in Wyoming is $16,274, the third largest income gap in the country. Moreover, women earn less in their jobs than men despite having a higher educational attainment rate. While 25.8% of men in Wyoming have at least a bachelor’s degree, 27.3% of women have similar education.

Women are also greatly under represented in local political offices. Women hold just 13.3% of the Wyoming state legislature seats — significantly less than the average of 24.4% representation across all states, and the smallest share after only Louisiana.

1. Utah
> Female earnings as pct. of male:
67.4% (2nd lowest)
> Female median earnings: $34,351 (14th lowest)
> Male median earnings: $50,937 (14th highest)
> Pct. of management jobs held by women: 32.7% (3rd lowest)

Utah is the worst state in the nation for women. While men in Utah tend to earn more than men nationwide, women in the state earn less than women nationwide. The difference of $16,586 between male and female median earnings in the state is the second largest in the country. The near nation-leading pay gap in Utah may be partly due to job discrimination. Women hold less than one in three management jobs in the state compared to the national share of nearly 40%. And of the 104 seats in the legislature, female politicians occupy just 16. While the state is not especially favorable for female residents, its economy is quite strong. The state’s unemployment rate of 3.9% — 3.7% among women and 4.0% among men — is the fourth lowest in the nation.