NEW YORK, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- iVillage, the largest content-driven online community for women, commissioned an extensive analysis to rank all 50 states in order of which were best for women, and which have failed their female citizens. Connecticut, which has healthcare coverage for over 90% of its female population and touts an educated population with more than one-third of women holding a four-year college degree, took top honors as the nation's best state for women. The five best states for women are revealed today on iVillage's iVote channel, the site's Election 2012 hub. Each day for the next 10 days, five more states will be unveiled in descending order, culminating in the worst states on March 23. States were judged on how women fared in terms of healthcare and wellness, economic well-being, parenting support, education, female representation in government, and reproductive rights.
The five best states in iVillage's ranking are:
"Women will be the most significant factor in this election year, and iVillage's exploration of how states rank with this key constituency allows female residents to understand what's working - and what could use improvement - in their backyards," said Angela Matusik, iVillage Chief Content Executive and Editorial Director of iVote. "Raising awareness is the first step towards positive change."
To gather the facts for iVillage's "50 Best to Worst States for Women" list, 12 authoritative sources of data were consulted, including the National Council of State Legislatures, National Women's Law Center, National Partnership for Women & Families, the 2010 US Census FactFinder, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The categories of healthcare & wellness and economic well-being were weighted as top criteria, followed by parenting and female representation in government office. Education and reproductive rights also factored in. For the full methodology used to determine each state's rank, click here.
Although the ranking of all 50 states will not be known until March 23, a few facts can be revealed about the states that will be unveiled over the next 10 days:
- When it comes to female representation in government office, four states – Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, and Vermont – have never sent a woman to either the Senate or the House of Representatives. By contrast, women in Colorado hold 41% of seats in state government, which is the highest percentage in the nation.
- With 30% of its women uninsured, Texas has the highest percentage of females without health insurance in the country.
- South Dakota has the lowest percentage of female-owned businesses in the nation with a mere 22%.
- The worst state for women, to be revealed March 23, lays claim to the highest rate of female poverty (22%), the lowest median earnings ($28,879), and the highest percentage of overweight and obese women (68%.) It also ranks in the bottom 10 on college graduation rate (21%), health insurance coverage (24%), mammogram rates (32% unscreened), and political representation.
The release of iVillage's "50 Best to Worst States for Women" list coincides with Women's History month, which falls in March.
Rankings were compiled based on criteria including healthcare & wellness, economic well-being, parenting, female representation in government, reproductive rights, and education for women. The following resources were used: National Council of State Legislatures, National Women's Law Center, Center for American Women & Politics at Rutgers, National Partnership for Women & Families, US Census 2010 FactFinder, Guttmacher Institute, NARAL, The Office on Women's Health Quick Health Data Online, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Institute for Women's Policy Research State-by-State Rankings and Data on Indicators of Women's Social and Economic Status, 2010, American Association of University Women. For more information, see: http://www.ivillage.com/best-and-worst-states-women-methodology-and-sources/4-a-435277.
iVillage is the largest content-driven community for women online. Every day, women come to iVillage to connect, share advice, find life tools and engage in conversations that matter most to them in the areas of Pregnancy & Parenting, Health, Food, Entertainment and Beauty & Style. Additional businesses and brand extensions within iVillage include iVillage UK, Petside.com, Dinnertool.com, LifeGoesStrong.com, Astrology.com and GardenWeb.com. Based in New York City, iVillage Inc. is part of the NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media Group, which has a digital portfolio of brands that reaches 60 million plus monthly uniques. Join iVillage's Facebook group at www.facebook.com/ivillage and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ivillage.