What Are the Best and Worst States for Women?


In an effort to discover the best and worst states for women, WalletHub analyzed 50 states and the District of Columbia on 19 “key indicators” of living standards for women. Separated into two categories, Women’s Economic and Social Well-Being and Women’s Health and Safety, the indicators range from unemployment rates and cost of doctor’s visits to friendliness towards women’s equality and women’s preventive healthcare.

Top 10 States for Women:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Vermont
  3. North Dakota
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Maine
  8. Hawaii
  9. Iowa
  10. Connecticut

“The financial issues that women face today range from low pay (women working full time make about 79 cents for every dollar that men make) to inadequate provision for retirement,” stated Robyn Muncy, Interim Chair of Women’s Studies and Professor of History at the University of Maryland. “Because women make less money than men and are often out of the labor market to care for children or other family members at some point in their adult lives, they often cannot save adequately for retirement or pay for health insurance or advanced education.”

When asked what factors, financial or otherwise, women should consider when choosing a city, featured report expert Caroline B. Brettell stated, “Are there safe and affordable neighborhoods to live in; what is the quality of the schools and where are the best schools, and can I afford to live where those schools are … It seems as if you are asking questions for professional women looking for high incomes rather than all women. Another bias (perhaps masculinist) in your question is that women make decisions in a vacuum, which they do not. Sometimes they follow spouses and most of the time they consider their children before themselves.”

Further Report Findings:

  • D.C. has the highest median earnings for women (adjusted for cost of living), followed by Virginia and Delaware respectively.
  • Nebraska and North Dakota are tied for the lowest unemployment rate for women
  • New Hampshire has the lowest percent of women living in poverty
  • Alaska has the highest percent of women-owned businesses, followed by Colorado and Virginia respectively.
  • New Hampshire has the lowest high school dropout rate for women; Idaho, Indiana and Minnesota are all tied for second

For the full report, please, click here.

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