Special Report

Worst States for Women

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11. Hawaii
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 79.4% (14th lowest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 84.0 years (the highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 32.9% (18th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 48.5% (the highest)

In no state do women hold a majority of management jobs, but in Hawaii they nearly do, holding 48.5% of these positions. This is well above the 41.4% of management jobs held by women nationwide.

Women in Hawaii tend to report among the best health outcomes in the U.S. The female life expectancy at birth in the state is 84 years, by far the highest of any state.

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12. Colorado
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 78.1% (12th lowest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 82.3 years (7th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 46.0% (2nd highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 39.9% (12th lowest)

Women in Colorado have among the highest educational attainment rates in the country. The bachelor’s degree attainment rate for female residents 25 and older is 43.5%, the second highest rate among all states and well above the 33.9% rate for all women.

Female Colorado residents also tend to report among the best health outcomes in the country, with a life expectancy at birth of 82.3 years – more than two years higher than the national expectancy.

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13. Minnesota
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 85.8% (8th highest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 82.6 years (5th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 34.8% (14th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 40.4% (13th lowest)

Minnesota ranks as the best state for women in the Midwest and the 13th best state overall. The state has the eighth lowest gender wage gap. Female workers earn 85.8% of what male workers do. Nationwide, the gender wage gap is 82.3%. Female workers in Minnesota have a median annual earnings of $51,168 – nearly $5,000 higher than the median annual wages for all female workers nationwide.

Female Minnesota residents also report among the best health outcomes in the U.S. The state’s female life expectancy at birth is 82.6 years, and its infant mortality rate is just 4.5 per 1,000 live births. Both figures rank among the 10 best in the nation. Minnesota is also one of just 10 states in which at least 95% of women have health insurance.

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14. Maine
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 76.6% (5th lowest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 81.2 years (25th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 43.5% (5th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 42.4% (16th highest)

Women in Maine hold a relatively high share of leadership positions – both in the public and private sector. Female legislators hold 43.5% of all seats in the state legislature, accounting for 81 seats in total. This is the fifth highest share in the country and well above the 30.6% of seats held by women nationwide. Janet Mills became the state’s first female governor in 2019, making Maine one of just nine states with a female governor.

Female workers in Maine hold 42.4% of management jobs in the state, a full percentage point above the nationwide rate. However, in spite of women holding a relatively high share of leadership positions, Maine has one of the largest gender wage gaps in the country. Female workers in the state earn 76.6% of what male workers earn.

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15. New Mexico
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 87.5% (3rd highest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 80.4 years (19th lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 43.8% (4th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 42.7% (12th highest)

New Mexico has a higher share of women in leadership positions than nearly every other state. More than 42% of management jobs and more than 43% of legislative seats are held by women, both well above national rates. It is also one of nine states with a female governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Median annual earnings are relatively low in New Mexico for both men and women. The state has one of the smallest gender wage gaps in the country, with female workers earning 87.5% of what male workers do.

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