Maryland Named the Best State for Gender Equality

A recently released analysis by the U.S News and World Report has announced that Maryland
ranks number one as the best state for gender equality. The other states ranked in the Top 5,
coming behind Maryland were Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Illinois. The states ranking in
the lowest positions were Wyoming, Utah, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama with Idaho ranking in
last place.

The ranking is based on five categories: economy, education, health, representation and power
and family planning and care. The state of Maryland’s overall ranking was largely boosted due
to ranking first in the education category and many of the state’s educational institutions
prioritize equal opportunities and encourage female enrolment in university programs, especially
in historically underrepresented fields such as STEM.

Maryland also ranked high, in 4th place in the representation and power category, which
compared the percentage of men and women in positions of power within the state government
and managerial positions. It was found that in nearly every state, men hold more management
positions than women, with Vermont, Maine and Maryland having the smaller disparities while
South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska have the largest. Nevada is the only state with more
women in state legislatures than men.

The most unbalanced state regarding state legislatures is West Virginia, where 88% of legislatures are men and only 12% are women.

In regards to earnings, Maryland also ranked higher than the national average, with women
earning 86 cents to the male dollar, compared to the national average of 82 cents. Connecticut
ranked as the highest state regarding earnings, with women earning 97 cents to the male dollar.
The study also highlighted that states in the Northeast, West Coast and those to the west of the
Great Lakes, consistently outperform the states in the Midwest and the South of the country,
when it comes to gender equality.

While abortion access is not measured in this study, a separate analysis by U.S News found a high correlation between states with abortion access and those with the best gender equality rankings, with states with abortion protections scoring higher for gender equality overall.