The Best and Worst States for Women's Well-Being

Discover where women make the most money, have the best healthcare, and more

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More women than men are college grads today in the United States and nearly 40 percent of breadwinners are now women. Though women are achieving so much, full gender equality takes time, and it has been slower to arrive in some places compared to others. When you're thinking about where to move or even where to travel, you might want to consider which states are the most women-friendly.

5 Best States for Women's Well-Being

It's not completely subjective: Due to the wonder that is statistics, the "best" and "worst" states can be mathematically calculated. The personal finance website WalletHub conducted research to determine 2016’s Best and Worst States for Women based on women's economic and social well-being, and women's healthcare and safety. Here is what they discovered:

1. Minnesota​

Travel Idea: The Twin Cities are packed with events and festivals in May. Get an insider's look at Minneapolis' vibrant art scene at the 21st annual Art-a-Whirl festival happening in studios across the city. For an especially family-friendly fest, head to St. Paul's Children's EcoArts Festival where you can make art from recycled materials and check out poetry tents.

2. Vermont

Travel Idea: Relive your childhood with a summer camp for adults at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont. Cool off with a tubing adventure on the Battenkill River; try your hand at glass-blowing; and end the day with s'mores, scotch, and sing-alongs by the campfire. Kimpton's Camp Taconic happens June 23 to 26 and August 25 to 28.

3. New Hampshire

Travel Idea: The state is full of natural beauty, from the Great North Woods to the White Mountains to the rocky coast. Spring rains give way to purple blooms by May when America's oldest lilac bushes blossom at the Wentworth–Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Other cities that have lilac festivals are Rochester and Lisbon.

4. Maine

Travel Idea: Explore coastal Maine by visiting the seaside town of Kennebunkport. Feast on fresh seafood, dip your toes in the Atlantic or take some surf lessons. You might check out the Kennebunkport Resort Collection that has nine boutique hotels and resorts where you can stay in bungalows, cottages, or historic hotel rooms.

5. Massachusetts​

Travel Idea: Downtown Abbey fans might love the Berkshires, which has many remaining throwbacks to the Gilded Age, such as the Berkshires mansions where wealthy families such as the Vanderbilts used to spend part of their time and gardens restored to the style of that era, such as the Iconic Blue Steps at Naumkeag, a National Historic Landmark. The destination is about three hours away from Boston and New York.

5 Worst States for Women

  1. Louisiana
  2. South Carolina
  3. Nevada
  4. Alabama
  5. Arkansas

Breakdown of Individual Category Findings

Here is a bonus breakdown of some of the individual category findings from the WalletHub researchers:

Women's Median Earnings

Highest: District of Columbia

Lowest: Hawaii

Women's Unemployment Rate

Lowest: North Dakota

Highest: District of Columbia

Percentage of Women Living in Poverty

Lowest: New Hampshire

Highest: Mississippi

Share of Women-Owned Businesses

Highest: Alaska

Lowest: South Dakota

Women's High School Dropout Rate

Lowest: New Hampshire

Highest: Arizona

Percentage of Women Who Voted in the Presidential Election

Highest: District of Columbia

Lowest: West Virginia

Female Uninsured Rate

Lowest: Massachusetts

Highest: Texas

Women's Life Expectancy at Birth

Highest: Hawaii

Lowest: Mississippi

Homicide Rate Per 1,000 Females

Lowest: South Dakota

Highest: South Carolina