The Status of Women and Girls

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, with wide variation by state, race/ethnicity, age, and immigration status.

Since 1996, IWPR has analyzed data on a wide range of indicators and graded each state on six different topics: Political Participation, Employment & Earnings, Poverty & Opportunity, Work & Family (added in 2015), Reproductive Rights, and Health & Well-Being (with additional state and national level data provided on Violence & Safety). The Status of Women reports offer policy analysis and recommendations that state and federal policymakers, journalists, advocates, and community leaders have used for two decades to make the case for improved public policies for women and families.

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. The research has driven public dialogue around the status of women in nearly every state in the country, receiving regular citations in state and local media outlets, in addition to national stories in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CBS This Morning, Bloomberg, Vox, and The Daily Show.

In 2015, IWPR launched the interactive website,, which includes downloadable data on women in each state, fact sheets, report cards, and a full, national report. The website is also the most accessible, comprehensive source for data on women of color in the United States.

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