Women in State Legislatures 2017

In 2017, 1,844, or 25.0% of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 444, or 22.5%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,400, or 25.9%, of the 5,411 state house or assembly seats. Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has more than quintupled.

The party breakdown for women serving in state legislatures in 2017 is:

  Total Legislators State Senators State Reps.
Democrats 1,114 60.4% 254 57.2% 860 61.4%
Republicans 707 38.3% 175 39.4% 532 38.0%
Nonpartisans* 14 0.8% 14 3.2% - -
Working Families Party 1 0.1% - - 1 0.1%
Independents 4 0.2% 1 0.2% 3 0.2%
Progressives 4 0.2% - - 4 0.3%
TOTAL 1,844 100.0% 444 100.0% 1,400 100.0%

* In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.

Top 10 States
Nevada (39.7%) 
Vermont (39.4%) 
Colorado (39.0%)
Arizona (38.9%)
Washington (36.1%)
Illinois (35.0%)
Maine (34.4%)
Oregon (33.3%)
Minnesota (32.3%)
Maryland (31.9%)
Bottom 10 States
Wyoming (11.1%)
Oklahoma (13.4%)
West Virginia (13.4%)
South Carolina (14.1%)
Mississippi (14.4%)
Alabama (15.0%)
Louisiana (15.3%)
Kentucky (16.7%)
Tennessee (16.7%)
North Dakota (18.4%)

State Legislative Leadership

11 women serve as presidents of senates or presidents pro tempore:

Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
Anitere Flores (R-FL)
Michelle Kidani (D-HI)
Susan Wagle (R-KS)
Tonya Schuitmaker (R-MI)
Michelle L. Fischbach (R-MN)

Sharon Carson (R-NH)
Nia Gill (D-NJ)
Mary Kay Papen (D-NM)
Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-OR)
Donna J. Boley (R-WV)
 
6 women serve as speakers of state houses:
Crisanta Duran (D-CO)
Linda L. Upmeyer (R-IA)
Sara Gideon (D-ME)
Tina Kotek (D-OR)
Beth Harwell (R-TN)
Mitzi Johnson (D-VT)
 

Women of Color

  • 439 (23.8%) of the 1,844 women state legislators serving nationwide are women of color (107 senators, 332 representatives; 409D, 28R, 1Prg., 1WFP).
  • Women of color constitute 5.9% of the total 7,383 state legislators. 

More information on women of color in elective office available here

 
 

State Legislative Firsts

1894: First 3 women state legislators elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives (Clara Cressingham, Carrie C. Holly, and Frances Klock).

1896: First woman state senator elected in Utah (Martha Hughes Cannon).

For other important state legislative firsts, visit the Milestones for Women in American Politics page

Women in State Legislatures 2017 - State by State List

  State Senate Total Women/ House Total Women/ Total Women/ %Women
State Rank D R I** Total Senate D R I** Total House Total Legis. Overall
AL 45 3 0 1 4/ 35 12 5 - 17/ 105 21/ 140 15.0
AK* 14 1 5 - 6/ 20 3 9 - 12/ 40 18/ 60 30.0
AZ 4 6 8 - 14/ 30 12 9 - 21/ 60 35/ 90 38.9
AR 40 3 4 - 7/ 35 3 15 - 18/ 100 25/ 135 18.5
CA 32 6 3 - 9/ 40 14 3 - 17/ 80 26/ 120 21.7
CO 3 9 2 - 11/ 35 19 9 - 28/ 65 39/ 100 39.0
CT 19 7 2 - 9/ 36 21 22 - 43/ 151 52/ 187 27.8
DE 33 3 1 - 4/ 21 7 2 - 9/ 41 13/ 62 21.0
FL 24 4 8 - 12/ 40 15 14 - 29/ 120 41/ 160 25.6
GA 23 9 2 - 11/ 56 31 20 - 51/ 180 62/ 236 26.3
HI 21 7 0 - 7/ 25 11 3 - 14/ 51 21/ 76 27.6
ID 12 4 5 - 9/ 35 7 16 - 23/ 70 32/ 105 30.5
IL 6 13 4 - 17/ 59 33 12 - 45/ 118 62/ 177 35.0
IN* 36 2 5 - 7/ 50 11 11 - 22/ 100 29/ 150 19.3
IA* 29 5 1 - 6/ 50 19 9 - 28/ 100 34/ 150 22.7
KS 18 4 11 - 15/ 40 14 17 - 31/ 125 46/ 165 27.9
KY* 42 2 2 - 4/ 38 9 10 - 19/ 100 23/ 138 16.7
LA 44 3 2 - 5/ 39 8 9 - 17/ 105 22/ 144 15.3
ME 7 6 4 - 10/ 35 35 18 1 54/ 151 64/ 186 34.4
MD 10 9 2 - 11/ 47 38 11 - 49/ 141 60/ 188 31.9
MA 24 13 0 - 13/ 40 30 9 - 39/ 160 52/ 200 26.0
MI 27 1 3 - 4/ 38 15 16 - 31/ 110 35/ 148 23.6
MN 9 9 7 - 16/ 67 28 21 - 49/ 134 65/ 201 32.3
MS 46 4 5 - 9/ 52 10 6 - 16/ 122 25/ 174 14.4
MO 31 5 1 - 6/ 34 17 20 - 37/ 163 43/ 197 21.8
MT 17 12 2 - 14/ 50 21 8 - 29/ 100 43/ 150 28.7
NE 22 - - 13 13/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 13/ 49 26.5
NV 1 5 2 1 8/ 21 13 4 - 17/ 42 25/ 63 39.7
NH 16 4 3 - 7/ 24 78 39 - 117/ 400 124/ 424 29.2
NJ* 14 8 3 - 11/ 40 18 7 - 25/ 80 36/ 120 30.0
NM 13 5 2 - 7/ 42 17 10 - 27/ 70 34/ 112 30.4
NY 20 7 7 - 14/ 63 41 3 1 45/ 150 59/ 213 27.7
NC 26 6 7 - 13/ 50 17 13 - 30/ 120 43/ 170 25.3
ND 41 3 6 - 9/ 47 7 10 - 17/ 94 26/ 141 18.4
OH* 29 3 3 - 6/ 33 13 11 - 24/ 99 30/ 132 22.7
OK* 48 2 4 - 6/ 48 6 8 - 14/ 101 20/ 149 13.4
OR 8 6 2 - 8/ 30 19 3 - 22/ 60 30/ 90 33.3
PA 39 3 4 - 7/ 50 19 21 - 40/ 203 47/ 253 18.6
RI 11 11 1 - 12/ 38 21 2 - 23/ 75 35/ 113 31.0
SC 47 2 2 - 4/ 46 11 9 - 20/ 124 24/ 170 14.1
SD 35 0 5 - 5/ 35 3 13 - 16/ 70 21/ 105 20.0
TN* 42 2 4 - 6/ 33 7 9 - 16/ 99 22/ 132 16.7
TX 34 2 6 - 8/ 31 21 8 - 29/ 150 37/ 181 20.4
UT 38 3 3 - 6/ 29 9 5 - 14/ 75 20/ 104 19.2
VT 2 9 2 - 11/ 30 41 13 6 60/ 150 71/ 180 39.4
VA* 36 7 3 - 10/ 40 13 4 - 17/ 100 27/ 140 19.3
WA 5 9 9 - 18/ 49 25 10 - 35/ 98 53/ 147 36.1
WV 48 0 3 - 3/ 34 2 13 - 15/ 100 18/ 134 13.4
WI 28 6 3 - 9/ 33 13 9 - 22/ 99 31/ 132 23.5
WY 50 1 2 - 3/ 30   3 4 - 7/ 60    10/ 90     11.1
Totals   254 175 15 444/ 1,972 860 532 8 1,400/ 5,411 1,844/ 7,383

25.0

  * States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (AK, NJ; IA, OH; IN, VA; KY, TN; WV, OK).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 1 Independent, 14 non-partisans; in the House, 1 Working Families Party, 4 Progressives, 3 Independents.

Permission to Reproduce CAWP Materials

Reproduction of information on the CAWP website for non-commercial purposes is encouraged, provided that clear and visible credit is given to Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University. Any information reproduced must include footnotes/endnotes that apply to that information. Commercial reproduction requires prior permission in writing from the Center for American Women and Politics. All CAWP fact sheets are available on this web site and may be downloaded and copied as needed.