For Immediate Release September 25, 2013
RELEASE: California Gets an ‘A’–New Analysis Ranks California Fourth in the Nation on Economic, Leadership, and Health Issues for Women
Washington, D.C. — California stands out as one of the best states in the nation for women, ranking fourth in the country, according to a new state-by-state analysis released today by the Center for American Progress.
The report, “The State of Women in America,” uses 36 different economic security, leadership, and health factors to measure the disparities between states and rank the best and worst states for women.
Across these 36 indicators, which include the overall wage gap, paid sick leave policies, congressional seats held by women, and policies to restrict women’s access to reproductive health, California received an “A” and ranks fourth in the nation.
California received an “A” and ranks second in the nation based on the economic factors analyzed:
- Women in California make 84 cents for every dollar a man makes. California has the fourth-smallest wage gap in the nation for women overall. Women of color, however, are not faring as well: Hispanic women in California make only 44 cents for every dollar a white male makes, the biggest gap in the nation.
- California is doing better than 33 other states in terms of poverty rates for women overall. 18 percent of women in California, however, still live in poverty.Women of color are doing even worse: 27 percent of African American women in California live in poverty.
- California is one of the few states that has enacted policies providing for paid family, medical, and temporary disability leave. This leaves women—and men—with the security of knowing their job will be there if they need to take time off to care for family or medical issues.
On leadership factors examined in the report, California received an “A” and ranks ranks fifth in the nation:
- California ranks fifth in the nation on female elected officials in Congress. More than 36 percent of California’s congressional seats are held by women.
- Women hold 39.1 percent of the managerial jobs in California. This puts California at 17th-best in the nation. The state still has a ways to go, however, as women make up 51 percent of the California’s population.
California received a “B” and ranks 14th in the nation based on the health factors analyzed:
- More than 18.4 percent of nonelderly women in California are uninsured, but California is taking steps to help its people. California stands out as a state that is expanding Medicaid, which could provide insurance for 856,000 more women.
- California has the 16th-worst maternal mortality rate in the nation. In California, there are 12.5 deaths for every 100,000 live births.
Last week, the Center for American Progress, working with American Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Service Employees International Union, launched the “Fair Shot” campaign. The major new initiative is aimed at elevating the public policies that can address the issues laid out in the “State of Women” report. Learn more about the Fair Shot campaign here.
- Mapping the State of Women in America
- Explore the Data: The State of Women in America
- Why We Need a Fair Shot: A Plan for Women and Families to Get Ahead by Judith Warner
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”