Status of Women in the States

The Status of Women in the States provides data on the current financial, social, etc. status of women in the United States and the District of Columbia. The data can be used to raise awareness, improve policies, promote women’s equality, identify needs, and create solutions.

Who we are:

Established in 2000, the Women’s Fund, a special initiative of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, promotes awareness of issues affecting women and girls through the power of collective philanthropy. The Women’s Fund is part of a nationwide movement, allowing women to fulfill their desire to give back.

The objectives of the Women’s Fund are to educate others about philanthropy and issues affecting women and girls, raise money and award grants that address issues affecting women and girls, promote inclusiveness and cultural competency in giving and grantmaking and empower all women to recognize themselves as philanthropists.

How we use Status of Women in the States:

Since 2008, the Women’s Fund has granted $79,429 to nonprofit organizations in the South Central Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, and Perry, and the Dillsburg Area serving women and girls. The grants focused on issues of self-sufficiency, health and human services, and education. Data obtained from the Status of Women in the States report is used to better align the grantmaking resources of the Women’s Fund to match the community’s needs and to educate our local community on the current needs of women and girls.


Employment & Earnings Political Participation
Poverty & Opportunity Reproductive Rights
Health & Well-Being Work & Family
Violence & Safety Take Action

Report Card Summary

Chapters Rank Grade
Employment & Earnings 23 C+
Political Participation 45 D-
Poverty & Opportunity 21 C
Reproductive Rights 31 C
Health & Well-Being 31 C-
Work & Family 33 D+
Violence & Safety N/A N/A

Pennsylvania Data:

Women earn 76 cents for every dollar a man earns.
At the current rate, women will not receive equal pay until 2072.
Millennial women experience depression 22.5 more days per year than Millennial men.
32.1% of employed women work in low-wage jobs.
Men are 2.2 times more likely to work in STEM occupations than women.

Employment & Earnings: Rank: 23 Grade: C+
Statistic Women Men Rank Percent
What Workers Earn $38,000.00 $50,000.00 19
Gender Wage Ratio 39 76.0%
Labor Force Participation Rate 58.6% 67.4% 31
Share of All Workers in Managerial and Professional Jobs 40.5% 33.4% 17
Employment & Earnings Full Report Employment & Earnings Key Findings
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Political Participation: Rank: 45 Grade: D-
Statistic Score Rank Women Men Women’s Rank
Women in Elected Office Index 1.02 48
Percent Registered to Vote, 2010/2012 Average 66.9% 64.7% 27
Percent Who Voted, 2010/2012 Average 54.4% 50.4% 32
Women’s Institutional Resources Index 1.5 11
Political Participation Full Report Political Participation Key Findings
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Poverty & Opportunity: Rank: 21 Grade: C
Statistic   Women Men Rank
Percent with Health Insurance 88.0% 83.7% 9
Percent with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher 28.6% 28.7% 27
Percent Who Own Businesses 27.0% 56.3% 29
Percent above Poverty 86.5% 89.3% 15
Poverty & Opportunity Full Report Poverty & Opportunity Key Findings
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Reproductive Rights: Rank: 31 Grade: C
Statistic Yes No Percent Mixed
Does the State Require Parental Notification and/or Consent for Abortion Services for Minors? X
Does the State Mandate a Waiting Period Prior to Abortion Services? X
Does the State Provide Public Funding for Abortions? X
What Percent of Women Live in Counties with an Abortion Provider? 53.0%
Does the State Have a Pro-Choice Governor and Legislature? X
Has the State Adopted the Medicaid Expansion or Expanded Eligibility for Medicaid Family Planning Se X
Does the State Require Health Insurers to Provide Coverage of Infertility Treatments? X
Does the State Recognize Same-Sex Marriage or Allow Second-Parent Adoption? X
Does the State Require Schools to Provide Sex Education? X
Reproductive Rights Full Report Reproductive Rights Key Findings
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Health & Well-Being: Rank: 31 Grade: C-
Statistic Women Men Rank for Women
Heart Disease Mortality (per 100,000 people) 143.60 229.8 35
Lung Cancer Mortality (per 100,000 people) 37.40 59.00 25
Breast Cancer Mortality (per 100,000 people) 22.50 0.30 39
Incidence of Diabetes 10.10 10.10 30
Incidence of Chlamydia (per 100,000 people) 545.80 262.60 18
Incidence of AIDS (per 100,000 people) 5.60 14.00 37
Poor Mental Health (mean # of days in past 30 days) 4.60 3.30 36
Suicide Mortality (per 100,000 people) 5.20 21.30 15
Limited Activities (mean # of days in past 30 days) 4.60 4.90 23
Health & Well-Being Full Report Health & Well-Being Key Findings
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Work & Family: Rank: 33 Grade: D+
Statistic   Score Rank  Percentage Points 
Paid Leave Legislation Index 0.33 9
Elder and Dependent Care Index 0.50 40
Child Care Index 1.07 34
Gender Gap in Labor Force Participation Rates for Parents of Children Under Six 13 23.5
Work & Family Full Report Work & Family Key Findings
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Violence & Safety: Rank: N/A Grade: N/A
Statistic Girls Boys Yes/No
Percent of Students (Grades 9–12) Who Have Experienced Physical Dating Violence 0.0% 0.0%
Percent of Students (Grades 9–12) Who Have Experienced Sexual Dating Violence 0.0% 0.0%
Percent of Students (Grades 9–12) Who Have Experienced Harassment or Bullying at School 0.0% 0.0%
Percent of Students (Grades 9–12) Who Have Experiencedd Electronic Bullying 0.0% 0.0%
Does State Law Provide Unemployment Insurance Benefits to Domestic Violence Victims? No
Does the State Have an Employment Rights Law for Victims of Domestic Violence? No
Does the State Have a General Crime Victim Protection Law? Yes
Gun Possession Bar on Individuals Convicted of Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Crimes Yes
Gun Possession Bar on Individuals Subject to Domestic Violence Protection Orders No
Violence & Safety Full Report Violence & Safety Key Findings
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View Additional Data by State:

Please click here to view additional data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Help Improve the Status of Women in South Central PA:

$16.66 – Dream It. Charge It. Change It!

For $16.66 a month, you can give the gift of hope to women and girls in the South Central Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, and Perry, and the Dillsburg Area. Make your pledge today of $1,000 or $16.66 per month for 5 years to become a member of the Dream Team.

To start your Dream Team pledge, please contact Jennifer Doyle, Director of Development & Community Investment at, call 717.236.5040, or complete the Dream Team Pledge Form.

About the Institute for Women’s Policy Research:

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialog, and strengthen families, communities, and societies. IWPR works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and families and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research.

It is the leading think tank in the United States focusing on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of public policy through a gendered lens. Founded in 1987, IWPR’s reports and other informational resources have informed policies and programs across the country and internationally, in each of its key program areas:

  • Employment, Education, & Economic Change – Employment and Job Quality, Economic Status of Women in the States, Pay Equity and Discrimination, Access to Higher Education and Job Training, Unemployment and the Economy
  • Democracy & Society – The Status of Women and Girls, Immigration and Religion, Women in Unions, Women’s Civic and Political Engagement
  • Poverty, Welfare, & Income Security – Retirement and Social Security, Poverty, Katrina and the Gulf Coast, Welfare Reform
  • Work & Family – Early Care and Education, Family Leave and Paid Sick Days, Workplace Flexibility
  • Health & Safety – Women’s access to health insurance, costs and benefits of preventive health services for women, costs of domestic violence

For more about IWPR, please visit

About the Project:

IWPR’s Status of Women reports are a unique source of comprehensive information on women. Since 1996, IWPR has analyzed data on a wide range of indicators at the local, state, national, and international levels, including demographics, economic security, education, reproductive rights, political participation, civic engagement, and access to health care and work supports. IWPR has released reports on each U.S. state and the District of Columbia, several city/area reports, and a series of reports and a toolkit on women in the Middle East and North Africa. Each report offers policy recommendations shaped by the research findings for that state or city/area. Recent state-level reports include: The Status of Women & Girls in Colorado, The Status of Women in North Carolina, The Status of Women & Girls in West Virginia, The Status of Women in Connecticut’s Workforce, and “The Well-Being of Women in Utah”. State and federal policymakers, journalists, advocates, and community leaders have used the reports for nearly two decades to make the case for improved public policies for women and families.

Informing Policy: Providing Data to Change Agents

IWPR’s Status of Women research provides data that change agents can use to improve the status of women, which is integral to strengthening economic growth and prosperity for local communities and the nation as a whole. Women’s status in the United States consistently lags behind men’s; despite some progress in recent decades, women earn less than men, experience higher poverty rates than their male counterparts, face specific adverse health conditions, and remain underrepresented in political office across the nation. While these disparities have an impact on all women, certain population groups—including women of color, low-income women, recent immigrants, and women living in rural and inner city areas—are disproportionately affected.

Inspiring Change: Creating Tools to Improve Women’s Status

With support from the Ford Foundation, starting in the Spring of 2015, IWPR will release an updated national report on the status of women a and a fact sheet on the status of women in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia, and in early 2016, a report on the Status of Women in the U.S. South. In September 2015, IWPR will release a report on women in unions in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers. The reports are being developed in partnership with an expert advisory committee and explore topics that profoundly affect women across the nation: employment, education, and earnings; economic security and poverty; health and well-being; reproductive rights; violence and safety; and political participation and leadership. The reports will provide disaggregated data to explore how contextual factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and residence (whether in a metropolitan or nonmetropolitan area) relate to higher or lower status on indicators such as median earnings, the gender wage gap, poverty, educational attainment, and access to health insurance coverage.

IWPR’s new status of women in the states website will include interactive charts and maps that will make the findings easily accessible and user-friendly, The website will also provide raw, downloadable data for researchers, journalists, and policymakers to use in their work.

Improving Lives: Making a Difference Across the Country

IWPR’s Status of Women in the States reports have made the case for millions of dollars in additional state and local funding across the United States and have reinvigorated, strengthened, or led to the creation of organizations, councils, or task forces on women in more than 15 states. A few representative examples of the many outcomes of this project include:

  • In 2005, women leaders in Wisconsin formed the nonprofit organization, “Wisconsin Women Equal Prosperity,” in response to IWPR findings in a 2004 report, The Status of Women in Wisconsin. Since its creation, WW=P has helped elect women to local governments, held workshops on domestic violence and employer best practices, and prepared topical primers to be used by advocates throughout the state.
  • In 2008, the Arizona Foundation for Women informed critical state budget decisions using findings from IWPR’s Economic Status of Women in Arizona. In particular, the state received an additional $6 million in domestic violence shelter funding and $9 million for child care subsidy rate increases over two budget sessions. More than six legislators quoted the report in their policymaking efforts. In addition, Arizona’s Fresh Start Women’s Foundation created an HIV program targeting black women based on findings from the same report.
  • In 2013, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado used findings from the recently released Status of Women and Girls in Colorado to raise awareness among policymakers, journalists, community leaders, and other stakeholders of the challenges facing women and girls in the state. The research garnered considerable media attention and served as the basis for a series of dynamic community discussions about women’s status across Colorado that engaged more than 400 individuals interested in working to implement positive changes.