SALARIES / OCT. 23, 2014
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Top 10 States With the Worst Income Equality for Women

Women in the United States are facing a major problem when it comes to income and career equality in comparison to male counterparts.

One of the most influential culprits that contribute to income inequality is the lack of career prospects and opportunities available to female employees.

For instance, women are less likely to hold leadership roles, management positions, and other supervising responsibilities.

 “A lot of [the wage gap] is also promotions, recruitments, and networking,” said Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Not only were economic and leadership variables closely investigated to determine this factor, but the study has also gone as far as to analyze health related issues. The Census Bureau Data calculated the infant mortality rate and life expectancy among women in each state.

Researchers at 24/7 Wall St. determined that Mississippi was the number one worse state in the U.S. for women. However, here are nine additional states that highlight similar societal irregularities. 


Poverty Rate: 12.1 percent impoverished women

Gender Wage Gap: 69 cents per dollar made by men

Infant Mortality: 6.8 per 1,000 births

Wyoming has the second worse gender wage gap in the country. The study says this is mostly because of the state’s predominant male job positions within the coal mining industry. Full-time female workers profit $35,829 a year and men profit nearly $52,000. On a positive note, women in Wyoming have the highest high school graduation rate standing at 94 percent.

North Dakota

Poverty Rate: 12.8 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 70 cents

Infant Mortality: 6.6 per 1,000

North Dakota ties with Montana in the number of infant deaths. Researchers say that unpaid maternity leave may contribute to this problem. However, the state’s poverty rate is less than 4.9 percent. Women made approximately $15,000 less than other male workers in the state, but have the tenth lowest poverty rate.


Poverty Rate: 13.6 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 70 cents

Infant Mortality: 5.0 per 1,000

Utah has the second lowest rate in the U.S. in regard to management positions ran by females in the workforce. The state also has the second lowest mortality rate. However, Utah accounts for one of the highest pay gaps, according to last year’s numbers. Men earned 50,000 and their female counterparts average revenue was $35,252.


Poverty Rate: 15.2 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 79 cents 

Infant Mortality: 7.5 per 1,000 

Although Kansas’ women make up a good portion of the state senate (12 to be exact), men held roughly 64 percent of management roles last year while women only contributed to 36.2 percent. On average, working males in the state made over $45,000. Women only earned 79 percent of that yearly revenue.

South Dakota

Poverty Rate: 15.5 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 75 cents

Infant Mortality: 7.1 per 1,000 

This state struggles to provide appropriate Medicaid benefits to women, and some believe that this improvement would resolve the South Dakota’s poverty level. In 2012, 55 percent of the people living under the poverty line were females. According to last year’s readings, women earned 75 cents per dollar made by their male colleagues. 


Poverty Rate: 16.2 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 76 cents

Infant Mortality: 6.0 per 1,000 

Women fill only one-third of management positions in Idaho. The downfall of working in this state is that most female workers do not have the privilege of taking paid leave when sick or pregnant. The infant mortality rate is only the 16th highest in the U.S., yet, a lack in efficient Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act adds to the problem.


Poverty Rate: 17.5 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 74 cents

Infant Mortality: 7.4 per 1,000

Indiana unfortunately has the worst pay discrepancy nationwide. Not only do women earn less than three-fourths of a man’s salary, but also less than 25 percent of women in the state have obtained a bachelor’s degree. 


Poverty Rate: 17.7 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 74 cents

Infant Mortality: 6.6 per 1,000

Like South Dakota, Montana has one of the worst health care services. Over 15 percent of women did not enrol for health insurance last year. Yet, the state’s infant mortality rate is one of the lowest in the country, ranking at 25. As far as job leadership, women only take part in 35.2% of management roles.



Poverty Rate: 20.5 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 79 cents

Infant Mortality: 9.2 per 1,000

Alabama’s biggest issue is female life expectancy and infant mortality. This state has the highest number of deaths related to birthing, and women are only expected to live to a little over 78 years. There is also a little over 14 percent women in the state’s legislature, which makes it the fourth lowest in the country. 


Poverty Rate:  26.6 percent

Gender Wage Gap: 77 cents

Infant Mortality: 10.0 per 1,000

Mississippi has the worst possible poverty and infant mortality rates. Actually, this state has some of the highest rates on the list.  Women made nearly $30,000 in comparison to male counterparts who earned less than $40,000 last year. Less than 84 percent of women graduated from high school. A dropout rate of 16 percent may be the reason behind the poverty level in the state.

States including North Dakota (17.0 percent), Alabama (14.3 percent), Wyoming (15.6 percent), Mississippi (17.2 percent), and Utah (16.3 percent) have the worst female representation within its individual state legislatures.

Idaho (26.7 percent), South Dakota (22.9 percent), Montana (27.3 percent), Kansas (24.8 percent), and Indiana (20.0 percent) represent over 20 percent of women in governmental leadership roles. 

Overall, women didn’t even come close to making up half of the workforce in 2013, especially when it comes to holding office jobs and management roles.

The study clearly indicates that some states need to empower women to take up important roles and encourage them get involved in key decision-making processes.


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