Good health, access to health services, and the ability to live in a safe environment are critical to the economic security and overall well-being of North Carolina women. While poor health can negatively affect employment opportunities, educational attainment, and financial security, good health allows women to meet their economic and educational goals and flourish in the other areas of their lives. Multiple factors, including genetics, behavior, access to health care—including reproductive health care—access to healthy food, and quality and safe housing contribute to the health and wellness of women. This report provides information on the health, well-being, and reproductive rights of women in North Carolina, including differences by race and ethnicity and by county where data are available.

The Status of Women in North Carolina: Health & Wellness analyzes data on women’s health, including chronic disease, physical health, sexual health, access to reproductive health services, and experiences of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The report identifies changes in women’s health since the publication of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s (IWPR) 2013 Status of Women in North Carolina report and concludes with recommendations for policymakers, public health officials, advocates, and philanthropists.

The Status of Women in North Carolina: Health & Wellness is the second in a series of four publications that provide data and policy recommendations to improve North Carolina women’s status in several key areas. These reports describe trends over time and, whenever possible, variations among women by race and ethnicity. The first report in the series, The Status of Women in North Carolina: Employment & Earnings, was released in 2018. The third report will focus on factors related to women’s economic security and economic opportunity, and the fourth on women’s political participation. The series aims to provide critical data that can help build economic security and overall well-being among the state’s women and serve as a resource that may be used to make data-driven decisions about how to shape public policies, prioritize investments, and set programmatic goals to improve the lives of women and families.