Women in State Legislatures 2019


In 2019, 2,112, or 28.6% of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 503, or 25.5%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,609, or 29.7%, 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 2019 is:

  Total Legislators State Senators State Reps.
Democrats 1,431 67.8% 324 64.4% 1,107 68.8%
Republicans 660 31.3% 166 33.0% 494 30.7%
Nonpartisans* 13 0.6% 13 2.6% - -
Independents 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
Progressives 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
TOTAL 2,112 100.1% 503 100.0% 1,609 99.9%
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Top 10 States
Nevada (50.8%)
Colorado (45.0%)
Oregon (41.1%)
Washington (40.8%)
Vermont (39.4%)
Maine (38.7%)
Alaska (38.3%)
Rhode Island (38.1%)
Arizona (37.8%)
Maryland (37.2%)
Bottom 10 States
West Virginia (14.2%)
Mississippi (14.4%)
Louisiana (14.6%)
Alabama (15.0%)
Tennessee (15.2%)
Wyoming (15.6%)
South Carolina (15.9%)
North Dakota (21.3%)
Oklahoma (21.5%)
Kentucky (22.5%)

State Legislative Leadership*

*Information as of 12/31/18; 2019 numbers will be posted when available.

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*

* Information as of 12/31/18; 2019 numbers will be posted when available.

  • 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 2019 - 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 47 4 0 - 4/ 35 11 6 - 17/ 105 21/ 140 15.0
AK 7 1 5 - 6/ 20 6 11 - 17/ 40 23/ 60 38.3
AZ 9 7 6 - 13/ 30 14 7 - 21/ 60 34/ 90 37.8
AR 38 3 4 - 7/ 35 8 17 - 25/ 100 32/ 135 23.7
CA* 22 10 3 - 13/ 40 21 2 - 23/ 80 36/ 120 30.0
CO 2 11 1 - 12/ 35 25 8 - 33/ 65 45/ 100 45.0
CT 14 10 1 - 11/ 36 29 23 - 52/ 151 63/ 187 33.7
DE 35 4 1 - 5/ 21 9 1 - 10/ 41 15/ 62 24.2
FL 24 6 5 - 11/ 40 23 13 - 36/ 120 47/ 160 29.4
GA 19 13 2 - 15/ 56 43 15 - 58/ 180 73/ 236 30.9
HI 18 7 0 - 7/ 25 14 3 - 17/ 51 24/ 76 31.6
ID 21 5 4 - 9/ 35 7 16 - 23/ 70 32/ 105 30.5
IL 11 18 2 - 20/ 59 36 8 - 44/ 118 64/ 177 36.2
IN 40 2 7 - 9/ 50 16 9 - 25/ 100 34/ 150 22.7
IA 25 6 5 - 11/ 50 24 9 - 33/ 100 44/ 150 29.3
KS 28 4 10 - 14/ 40 15 15 - 30/ 125 44/ 165 26.7
KY 41 2 2 - 4/ 38 18 9 - 27/ 100 31/ 138 22.5
LA 48 3 2 - 5/ 39 7 9 - 16/ 105 21/ 144 14.6
ME 6 8 4 - 12/ 35 49 11 - 60/ 151 72/ 186 38.7
MD 10 13 2 - 15/ 47 48 7 - 55/ 141 70/ 188 37.2
MA 26 11 0 - 11/ 40 38 7 1 46/ 160 57/ 200 28.5
MI 12 8 3 - 11/ 38 25 17 - 42/ 110 53/ 148 35.8
MN 17 10 6 - 16/ 67 35 13 - 48/ 134 64/ 201 31.8
MS 49 4 5 - 9/ 52 9 7 - 16/ 122 25/ 174 14.4
MO 33 6 3 - 9/ 34 19 22 - 41/ 163 50/ 197 25.4
MT* 22 11 2 - 13/ 50 21 11 - 32/ 100 45/ 150 30.0
NE 29 - - 13 13/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 13/ 49 26.5
NV 1 8 1 - 9/ 21 18 5 - 23/ 42 32/ 63 50.8
NH* 14 7 3 - 10/ 24 108 25 - 133/ 400 143/ 424 33.7
NJ 20 8 2 - 10/ 40 21 6 - 27/ 80 37/ 120 30.8
NM 13 5 2 - 7/ 42 24 8 - 32/ 70 39/ 112 34.8
NY 16 14 6 - 20/ 63 46 4 - 50/ 150 70/ 213 32.9
NC 31 6 4 - 10/ 50 23 11 - 34/ 120 44/ 170 25.9
ND 43 4 7 - 11/ 47 8 11 - 19/ 94 30/ 141 21.3
OH 32 4 3 - 7/ 33 18 9 - 27/ 99 34/ 132 25.8
OK 42 5 4 - 9/ 48 11 12 - 23/ 101 32/ 149 21.5
OR 3 7 2 - 9/ 30 22 6 - 28/ 60 37/ 90 41.1
PA 34 6 6 - 12/ 50 29 22 - 51/ 203 63/ 253 24.9
RI 8 14 2 - 16/ 38 26 1 - 27/ 75 43/ 113 38.1
SC 44 2 2 - 4/ 46 12 11 - 23/ 124 27/ 170 15.9
SD 37 2 4 - 6/ 35 4 15 - 19/ 70 25/ 105 23.8
TN 46 4 4 - 8/ 33 4 8 - 12/ 99 20/ 132 15.2
TX 39 3 6 - 9/ 31 27 6 - 33/ 150 42/ 181 23.2
UT 36 4 2 - 6/ 29 12 7 - 19/ 75 25/ 104 24.0
VT 5 10 - - 10/ 30 41 13 7 61/ 150 71/ 180 39.4
VA 30 6 3 - 9/ 40 23 5 - 28/ 100 37/ 140 26.4
WA 4 11 8 - 19/ 49 30 11 - 41/ 98 60/ 147 40.8
WV 50 0 3 - 3/ 34 8 8 - 16/ 100 19/ 134 14.2
WI 27 6 2 - 8/ 33 18 10 - 28/ 99 36/ 132 27.3
WY 45 1 5 - 6/ 30   4 4 - 8/ 60    14/ 90     15.6
Totals   324 166 13 503/ 1,972 1,107 494 8 1,609/ 5,411 2,112/ 7,383

28.6

  * States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (CA, MT; CT, NH).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 13 non-partisans; in the House, 4 Progressives, 4 Independents.

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