Women in State Legislatures 2018

In 2018, 1,875, or 25.4% of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 450, or 22.8%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,425, or 26.3%, 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 2018 is:

  Total Legislators State Senators State Reps.
Democrats 1,144 61.0% 261 58.0% 883 62.0%
Republicans 705 37.6% 173 38.4% 532 37.3%
Nonpartisans* 14 0.7% 14 3.1% - -
Independents 7 0.4% 2 0.4% 5 0.4%
Progressives 5 0.3% - - 5 0.4%
TOTAL 1,875 100.0% 450 99.9% 1,425 100.1%
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Top 10 States
Arizona (40.0%) 
Vermont (39.4%)
Nevada (38.1%) 
Colorado (38.0%)
Washington (37.4%)
Illinois (35.0%)
Maine (33.9%)
Maryland (33.5%)
Oregon (33.3%)
Rhode Island (31.9%)
Bottom 10 States
Wyoming (11.1%)
Oklahoma (13.4%)
Louisiana (14.6%)
West Virginia (14.9%)
Mississippi (14.9%)
Alabama (15.0%)
South Carolina (15.9%)
Tennessee (15.9%)
Kentucky (16.7%)
North Dakota (18.4%)

State Legislative Leadership

13 women serve as presidents of senates or presidents pro tempore:
Toni Atkins (D-CA)
Anitere Flores (R-FL)
Michelle Kidani (D-HI)
Susan Wagle (R-KS)
Karen Spilka (D-MA)
Harriette Chandler (D-MA)
Tonya Schuitmaker (R-MI)
Michelle L. Fischbach (R-MN)
Sharon Carson (R-NH)
M. Teresa Ruiz (D-NJ)
Mary Kay Papen (D-NM)
Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-OR)
Karen Keiser (D-WA)
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 in D.C. and the Territories

There are currently 33 women serving in the legislatures of the U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands) and on the D.C. City Council. Of the 33, nine serve as senators, 11 serve as representatives and 13 serve on unicameral bodies.

  Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 3 (3NP) 37 8.1%
District of Columbia 4 (3D, 1I) 13 30.8%
Guam 5 (3D, 2R) 15 33.3%
Northern Mariana Islands 3 (3R) 29 10.3%
Puerto Rico 14 (11PNP, 3PPD)* 81 17.3%
Virgin Islands 4 (2D, 2I) 15 26.7%

*PNP stands for Partido Nuevo Progresista, or the New Progressive Party, and
PPD stands for Partido Popular Democratico, or the Popular Democratic Party.

Women of Color

  • 456 (24.3%) of the 1,875 women state legislators serving nationwide are women of color (112 senators, 344 representatives; 429D, 26R, 1Prg.).
  • Women of color constitute 6.2% of the total 7,383 state legislators. 

More information on women of color in elective office.


State Legislative Firsts

1894: The first three women elected to a state legislature in the country were Clara Cressingham,
Carrie C. Holly, and Frances Klock, all in the Colorado House of Representatives.

1896: Martha Hughes Cannon (D-UT) became the first woman elected state senator in the
country.

1924: Cora Belle Reynolds Anderson (R-MI) became the first woman of color elected to a state
legislature.

1933: Minnie Davenport Craig (R-ND) became the first woman to serve as speaker of a state
house.

1974: Elaine Noble (D-MA) became the first openly LGBT candidate elected to a state
legislature.

1983: Vesta Roy (R-NH) became the first woman to serve as president of a state senate.

2007: Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) became the first woman of color to serve as president of a state
senate.

2008: Karen Bass (D-CA) became the first woman of color to serve as speaker of a state house.

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

Women in State Legislatures 2018 - 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 12 1 5 - 6/ 20 4 9 - 13/ 40 19/ 60 31.7
AZ 1 6 8 - 14/ 30 13 9 - 22/ 60 36/ 90 40.0
AR 40 3 5 - 8/ 35 3 15 - 18/ 100 26/ 135 19.3
CA 25 7 4 - 11/ 40 17 3 - 20/ 80 31/ 120 25.8
CO 4 8 2 1 11/ 35 18 9 - 27/ 65 38/ 100 38.0
CT 21 7 2 - 9/ 36 21 21 - 42/ 151 51/ 187 27.3
DE* 34 3 1 - 4/ 21 7 2 - 9/ 41 13/ 62 21.0
FL 26 6 7 - 13/ 40 14 14 - 28/ 120 41/ 160 25.6
GA 23 11 2 - 13/ 56 32 18 - 50/ 180 63/ 236 26.7
HI 16 7 0 - 7/ 25 12 3 - 15/ 51 22/ 76 28.9
ID 14 4 5 - 9/ 35 7 16 - 23/ 70 32/ 105 30.5
IL 6 13 2 - 15/ 59 34 13 - 47/ 118 62/ 177 35.0
IN 36 2 6 - 8/ 50 11 11 - 22/ 100 30/ 150 20.0
IA 31 5 2 - 7/ 50 19 9 - 28/ 100 35/ 150 23.3
KS 18 4 11 - 15/ 40 15 17 - 32/ 125 47/ 165 28.5
KY 42 2 2 - 4/ 38 10 9 - 19/ 100 23/ 138 16.7
LA 48 3 2 - 5/ 39 7 9 - 16/ 105 21/ 144 14.6
ME 7 6 4 - 10/ 35 35 17 1 53/ 151 63/ 186 33.9
MD 8 10 3 - 13/ 47 39 11 - 50/ 141 63/ 188 33.5
MA 29 10 0 - 10/ 40 30 8 1 39/ 160 49/ 200 24.5
MI 27 1 3 - 4/ 38 17 16 - 33/ 110 37/ 148 25.0
MN 11 10 6 - 16/ 67 28 20 - 48/ 134 64/ 201 31.8
MS* 46 4 5 - 9/ 52 10 7 - 17/ 122 26/ 174 14.9
MO 32 6 2 - 8/ 34 16 21 - 37/ 163 45/ 197 22.8
MT 20 11 2 - 13/ 50 21 8 - 29/ 100 42/ 150 28.0
NE 24 - - 13 13/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 13/ 49 26.5
NV 3 5 1 1 7/ 21 13 4 - 17/ 42 24/ 63 38.1
NH 17 4 3 - 7/ 24 77 38 - 115/ 400 122/ 424 28.8
NJ 13 8 2 - 10/ 40 21 6 - 27/ 80 37/ 120 30.8
NM 15 5 2 - 7/ 42 17 10 - 27/ 70 34/ 112 30.4
NY 19 8 7 - 15/ 63 42 3 - 45/ 150 60/ 213 28.2
NC 28 5 8 - 13/ 50 17 12 - 29/ 120 42/ 170 24.7
ND 41 3 6 - 9/ 47 7 10 - 17/ 94 26/ 141 18.4
OH 33 3 3 - 6/ 33 13 10 - 23/ 99 29/ 132 22.0
OK 48 3 3 - 6/ 48 5 8 - 13/ 101 19/ 149 12.8
OR 9 6 2 - 8/ 30 19 3 - 22/ 60 30/ 90 33.3
PA 39 3 4 - 7/ 50 21 21 - 42/ 203 49/ 253 19.4
RI 10 12 1 - 13/ 38 21 2 - 23/ 75 36/ 113 31.9
SC* 43 2 2 - 4/ 46 12 11 - 23/ 124 27/ 170 15.9
SD* 34 0 5 - 5/ 35 3 14 - 17/ 70 22/ 105 21.0
TN* 43 2 3 - 5/ 33 7 9 - 16/ 99 21/ 132 15.9
TX 36 2 6 - 8/ 31 21 8 - 29/ 150 37/ 181 20.4
UT 37 3 2 - 5/ 29 9 7 - 16/ 75 21/ 104 20.2
VT 2 9 2 - 11/ 30 39 13 8 60/ 150 71/ 180 39.4
VA 22 7 3 - 10/ 40 23 5 - 28/ 100 38/ 140 27.1
WA 5 10 9 - 19/ 49 25 11 - 36/ 98 55/ 147 37.4
WV* 46 0 4 - 4/ 34 2 14 - 16/ 100 20/ 134 14.9
WI 30 7 2 - 9/ 33 14 9 - 23/ 99 32/ 132 24.2
WY 50 1 2 - 3/ 30   3 4 - 7/ 60    10/ 90     11.1
Totals   261 173 16 450/ 1,972 883 532 10 1,425/ 5,411 1,875/ 7,383

25.4

  * States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (DE, SD; MS, WV; SC, TN).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 2 Independent, 14 non-partisans; in the House, 5 Progressives, 5 Independents.

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