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Earning a higher education is increasingly necessary for achieving family economic security. For single mothers, who are more likely to live in poverty than other women, earning postsecondary credentials can bring substantial benefits, from increased lifetime earnings and employment rates to better health outcomes and chances of success for their children.
The percentage of women working part-time in Utah is still the highest in the nation. Business ownership and representation in professional and managerial positions among Utah women are also increasing, more Utah women now live above the poverty line, and women in Utah have made great strides in education attainment; however, the progress in these areas is markedly different when race and ethnicity are taken into account.
To experience economic security, working adults must have enough income to meet their basic monthly expenses and save for emergencies and retirement. The Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST) Index provides a measure of how much income working adults of different family types need to be economically secure in each state.
As of 2016, women in Utah still work outside of the home at similar rates to women nationally and—while not yet at the same levels as U.S. women—they also continue to pursue business ownership, make progress in educational attainment, and overcome some aspects of poverty.
The Status of Women in the States: 2015 provides critical data to identify areas of progress for women in states across the nation and pinpoint where additional improvements are still needed. It presents hundreds of data points for each state across seven areas that affect women’s lives: political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, reproductive rights, health and well-being, and violence and safety.