Special Report

Worst States for Women

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26. Florida
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 84.1% (13th highest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 81.6 years (14th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 34.4% (15th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 41.6% (25th highest)

Florida ranks near the middle among the best states for women. Female workers make 84.1% of what male workers do. Yet the median annual wage for female workers is $43,212, more than $3,000 lower than the median earnings for a female worker nationwide.

The state’s health outcomes for female residents are a mixed bag. Florida women have a life expectancy at birth of 81.6 years, the 14th highest expectancy and 0.4 years ahead of the U.S. life expectancy for women. However, the state has a relatively high infant mortality rate, reporting 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality nationwide rate is 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.

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27. Kansas
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 84.2% (12th highest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 80.3 years (18th lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 30.3% (25th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 39.8% (10th lowest)

The gender wage gap in Kansas is one of the smallest in the country, with median annual earnings for female workers 84.2% of the median for male workers. Yet the median annual earnings for full-time female workers are more than $4,000 lower in Kansas than in the U.S. overall.

Women in Kansas occupy a relatively low share of leadership roles both in the state’s public and private sectors. Just 30.3% of legislative seats are held by women, slightly lower than the nationwide share. The state also has the 10th lowest share of management jobs held by women, at 39.8%.

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28. Alaska
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 80.9% (25th lowest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 80.2 years (16th lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 30.0% (24th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 45.0% (4th highest)

Though median annual earnings of female workers in Alaska is relatively high, it is still less than 81% of what male workers in the state earn. Nationwide, female workers earn 82.3% of what male ones do.

Alaska has a relatively high gender pay gap in spite of the fact that women in Alaska hold 45% of management jobs, which tend to pay well. This is the fourth highest share in the country. Women’s life expectancy at birth in Alaska is 80.2 years – a full year below the U.S. life expectancy for women.

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29. North Carolina
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 81.1% (25th highest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 80.2 years (16th lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 25.9% (14th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 41.3% (23rd lowest)

North Carolina ranks as a worse state for women than most others, in large part because of the poor health outcomes from female residents. The state’s female life expectancy at birth is 80.2 years – a full year lower than the average nationwide. North Carolina also has an infant mortality rate of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. That is a higher rate than in all but a dozen other states.

Female workers in North Carolina earn 81.1% of what male workers in the state do and about $2,800 per year less than the typical female worker in the U.S.

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30. Texas
> Female earnings as pct. of male earnings: 87.0% (4th highest)
> Female life expectancy at birth: 80.8 years (23rd lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 25.4% (12th lowest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 39.1% (8th lowest)

Though female workers in Texas have slightly lower median annual earnings than female workers nationwide, the state has one of the smallest gender wage gaps in the country. The state’s female workers earn 87.0% of what male workers do, well above the 82.3% share nationwide.

Women hold a relatively low share of leadership positions in Texas. Female legislators account for just over a quarter of seats in the state legislature. Women also account for just 39.1% of management jobs in the state.

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