The Very Best and Worst States for Women, Ranked

The gender gap is still real for American women, but they fare far better in some states than others — for health, safety, longevity, equal pay and upward mobility and more.

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Women in America didn’t get the right to vote until 1920. While the quest for gender equality has continued, there’s still a good ways to go. Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers in the United States are women, and working women make 16 percent less money, overall, than their male counterparts.

But some states are significantly better for women than others in terms of health, safety and economic security. Personal finance site Wallet Hub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 23 key indicators of living standards for women, looking at such factors as life expectancy, unemployment rate, use of preventive health care, percentage of women-owned businesses and rates of death by homicide.

Almost all of the lowest-rated states are located in the South, while Upper Midwest and Northeast states tend to rank higher. We’ll start with the worst state for women and work our way up.

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