While all men and women are technically created equally – opportunities, earnings, and life expectancies vary by gender and  turns out – by state. In some states, a high percent of women live in poverty and are victims of homicide. In other states, you’ll find the highest share of women-owned businesses and the highest-life expectancy rates.

Why such stark differences?

If you don’t like charts and numbers – skip this but if you care about change, stick around because the stats are important.

This information may change from year to year, but according to a report by WalletHub, these are the 10 best and the 10 worst states for women in 2016.

The 10 Best States for Women in 2016

Overall Rank State Total Score Women’s Economic & Social Well-Being Rank Women’s Healthcare and Safety Rank
1 Minnesota 83.17 1 4
2 Vermont 79.62 5 2
3 New Hampshire 77.97 2 9
4 Maine 75.12 6 10
5 Massachusetts 74.69 10 5
6 North Dakota 74.60 12 3
7 Maryland 74.44 3 18
8 Wisconsin 72.31 4 24
9 Nebraska 71.52 9 13
10 Hawaii 71.47 19 1

The 10 Worst States for Women in 2016

Overall Rank State Total Score Women’s Economic & Social Well-Being Rank Women’s Healthcare and Safety Rank
51 Louisiana 39.60 51 49
50 South Carolina 39.78 50 50
49 Nevada 41.82 49 51
48 Alabama 45.59 48 46
47 Arkansas 47.32 46 43
46 Mississippi 47.43 40 48
45 New Mexico 49.14 35 47
44 West Virginia 49.28 39 45
43 Oklahoma 50.46 38 42
42 Texas 50.49 42 39

Each state was ranked from 0 (for worst) to 100 (for best) based on economic, social well-being, healthcare and safety metrics. While the two tables above list the overall rankings, it’s also interesting to note which states performed best and worst in these individual categories.

Category 1: The median earnings for female workers.

Earnings are highest in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Illinois. On the other hand, women earn the lowest median earnings in Hawaii, Oregon, California, Montana, and Maine.

Category 2: The unemployment rate for women.

The two states with the lowest unemployment rates are North Dakota and Nebraska. Minnesota and Vermont tied for 3rd place, and Montana, South Dakota, and Utah tied for 5th place. However, women were most likely to be unemployed in the District of Columbia and Nevada. The states with the next highest unemployment rates for women are Mississippi, New Mexico, and California.

Category 3: Percentage of women living in poverty.

The best chances of living above the poverty level are in New Hampshire, Alaska, Maryland, Connecticut, and New Jersey. However, the 5 states with the highest percentage of women living in poverty are Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama.

Category 4: Highest-share of women-owned businesses.

Alaska and Colorado have the highest share of women-owned businesses, followed by Virginia, Florida, and Georgia. On the other hand, you’re least likely to find women-ended businesses in South Dakota and Idaho, followed by Nebraska, Utah, and Vermont.

Category 5: High school dropout rates.

More women in New Hampshire complete high school than in any other state. The other states with the lowest dropout rates are Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, and Alabama and New Jersey tied for 5th place.  At the other end of the spectrum, Arizona has the worst high school dropout rate, followed by the District of Columbia, Alaska, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

Category 6: Uninsured rates.

Massachusetts has the distinction of having the lowest percentage of women who don’t have health care insurance. The District of Columbia, Vermont, Hawaii, and Minnesota have the next lowest uninsured rates.  However, women in Texas are more likely to be uninsured than in any other U.S. state. The other four states with the highest female uninsured rates are Nevada, Florida, Alaska, and Georgia.

Category 7: Life expectancy at birth.

Women in Hawaii are expected to live longer than women anywhere else. But Hawaii’s not alone. Minnesota, California, Connecticut, and New York have the next highest life expectancy rates. Women have the shortest time frame from the cradle to the grave in Mississippi. The other states where women have the lowest life expectancy are West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

Category 8: Female homicides per 100,000 females.

One dynamic that can determine life expectancy is homicides. Women have the lowest chance of being murdered in the states of South Dakota and North Dakota. Hawaii, Iowa, and Montana have the next lowest female homicide rates. But women are most likely to be killed in South Carolina. The rest of the states with the highest female homicide rates are Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Nevada.

There are a variety of factors that determine well-being for women. There’s a link between affordable and preventative healthcare, and life expectancy. Also, graduation rates frequently determine employment rates and income level. Understanding these connections can help women determine where they are more likely to thrive and reach their full potential.

How do you feel about your state?

Top states for women to live in the U.S. and the worst states for them.

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