Women in State Legislatures 2020


In 2020, 2,144, or 29.0% of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 515, or 26.1%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,629, or 30.1%, 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 2020 is:

  Total Legislators State Senators State Reps.
Democrats 1,450 67.6% 331 64.3% 1,119 68.7%
Republicans 672 31.3% 170 33.0% 502 30.8%
Nonpartisans* 14 0.7% 14 2.7% - -
Independents 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
Progressives 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
TOTAL 2,144 100.0% 515 100.0% 1,629 99.9%
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Top 10 States
Nevada (52.4%)
Colorado (44.0%)
Oregon (42.2%)
Washington (40.5%)
Vermont (40.0%)
Maryland (39.4%)
Arizona (38.9%)
Maine (37.6%)
Rhode Island (37.2%)
Alaska (36.7%)
Bottom 10 States
West Virginia (13.4%)
Tennessee (15.2%)
Wyoming (15.6%)
Mississippi (16.1%)
Alabama (16.4%)
South Carolina (16.5%)
Louisiana (18.1%)
Oklahoma (21.5%)
North Dakota (22.0%)
Kentucky (23.2%)

State Legislative Leadership


17 women serve as presidents of senates or presidents pro tempore:
Cathy Giessel (R-AK)
Karen Fann (R-AZ)
Toni Atkins (D-CA)
Lois Court (D-CO)
Michelle Kidani (D-HI)
Susan Wagle (R-KS)
Karen Spilka (D-MA)
Katherine Klausmeier (D-MD)
Mary Kiffmeyer (MN-R)
Donna Soucy (D-NH)
Martha Fuller Clark (D-NH)
M. Teresa Ruiz (D-NJ)
Mary Kay Papen (D-NM)
Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-NY)
Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-OR)
Karen Keiser (D-WA)
Donna J. Boley (R-WV)

7 women serve as speakers of state houses:
KC Becker (D-CO)
Linda L. Upmeyer (R-IA)
Adrienne Jones (D-MD)
Sara Gideon (D-ME)
Melissa Hortman (D-MN)
Tina Kotek (D-OR)
Mitzi Johnson (D-VT)


Women in D.C. and the Territories

There are currently 38 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 38, nine serve as senators, 11 serve as representatives and 18 serve on unicameral bodies.

  Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 2 (2NP) 39 5.1%
District of Columbia 4 (3D, 1I) 13 30.8%
Guam 10 (7D, 3R) 15 66.7%
Northern Mariana Islands 4 (2I, 2R) 29 13.8%
Puerto Rico 14 (11PNP, 3PPD)* 81 17.3%
Virgin Islands 4 (3D, 1I) 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*

  • 541 (25.2%) of the 2,144 women state legislators serving nationwide are women of color (131 senators, 410 representatives; 521D, 19R, 1Prg.).
  • Women of color constitute 7.3% of the total 7,383 state legislators. 
  • In addition, there are 31 women of color 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.

*This figure does not include two legislators whose race/ethnicity we could not confirm.

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 2020

  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 46 4 0 - 4/ 35 11 8 - 19/ 105 23/ 140 16.4
AK 710 1 5 - 6/ 20 6 10 - 16/ 40 22/ 60 36.7
AZ 7 7 6 - 13/ 30 14 8 - 22/ 60 35/ 90 38.9
AR* 37 3 4 - 7/ 35 9 17 - 26/ 100 33/ 135 24.4
AS - - - 1 1/ 18 - - 1 1/ 21 2/ 39 5.1
CA 18 11 3 - 14/ 40 21 3 - 24/ 80 38/ 120 31.7
CO 2 11 1 - 12/ 35 26 6 - 32/ 65 44/ 100 44.0
CT 16 8 1 - 9/ 36 29 22 - 51/ 151 60/ 187 32.1
DC - - 3 1 4/ 13 - - - - - unicameral - - 4/ 13 30.8
DE 40 4 1 - 5/ 21 9 1 - 10/ 41 15/ 62 24.2
FL 24 6 6 - 12/ 40 23 13 - 36/ 120 48/ 160 30.0
GA 23 13 2 - 15/ 56 42 15 - 57/ 180 72/ 236 30.5
GU - 7 3 - 10/ 15 - - - - - unicameral - - 10/ 15 66.7
HI 19 7 0 - 7/ 25 14 3 - 17/ 51 24/ 76 31.6
ID 15 4 5 - 9/ 35 8 17 - 25/ 70 34/ 105 32.4
IL 12 19 2 - 21/ 59 35 8 - 43/ 118 64/ 177 36.2
IN* 33 2 8 - 10/ 50 17 11 - 28/ 100 38/ 150 25.3
IA* 25 6 5 - 11/ 50 23 10 - 33/ 100 44/ 150 29.3
KS 28 6 7 - 13/ 40 18 15 - 33/ 125 46/ 165 27.9
KY 41 2 2 - 4/ 38 18 10 - 28/ 100 32/ 138 23.2
LA 44 3 3 - 6/ 39 8 12 - 20/ 105 26/ 144 18.1
ME 8 8 4 - 12/ 35 47 11 - 58/ 151 70/ 186 37.6
MD 6 13 2 - 15/ 47 52 7 - 59/ 141 74/ 188 39.4
MA 29 11 0 - 11/ 40 37 6 1 44/ 160 55/ 200 27.5
MI 13 8 3 - 11/ 38 25 17 - 42/ 110 53/ 148 35.8
MN 20 10 6 - 16/ 67 35 13 - 48/ 134 64/ 201 31.8
MS 47 4 8 - 12/ 52 10 6 - 16/ 122 28/ 174 16.1
MO* 37 5 3 - 8/ 34 20 20 - 40/ 163 48/ 197 24.4
MP - 1 - - 1/ 9 - 1 2 3/ 20 4/ 29 13.8
MT 22 11 2 - 13/ 50 22 11 - 33/ 100 46/ 150 30.7
NE 27 - - 14 14/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 14/ 49 28.6
NV 1 9 1 - 10/ 21 18 5 - 23/ 42 33/ 63 52.4
NH 14 7 3 - 10/ 24 109 25 - 134/ 400 144/ 424 34.0
NJ 21 9 1 - 10/ 40 20 7 - 27/ 80 37/ 120 30.8
NM 11 7 2 - 9/ 42 25 7 - 32/ 70 41/ 112 36.6
NY 20 14 5 - 19/ 63 44 4 - 48/ 150 67/ 213 31.5
NC* 33 6 4 - 10/ 50 23 10 - 33/ 120 43/ 170 25.3
ND 42 4 7 - 11/ 47 8 12 - 20/ 94 31/ 141 22.0
OH* 30 4 4 - 8/ 33 19 9 - 28/ 99 36/ 132 27.3
OK 43 5 4 - 9/ 48 11 12 - 23/ 101 32/ 149 21.5
OR 3 7 2 - 9/ 30 22 7 - 29/ 60 38/ 90 42.2
PA 32 7 6 - 13/ 50 30 23 - 53/ 203 66/ 253 26.1
PR - - - 7 7/ 30 - - 7 7/ 51 14/ 81 17.3
RI 9 14 2 - 16/ 38 25 1 - 26/ 75 42/ 113 37.2
SC 45 2 2 - 4/ 46 12 12 - 24/ 124 28/ 170 16.5
SD 36 2 5 - 7/ 35 4 15 - 19/ 70 26/ 105 24.8
TN 49 4 4 - 8/ 33 4 8 - 12/ 99 20/ 132 15.2
TX 39 3 6 - 9/ 31 29 6 - 35/ 150 44/ 181 24.3
UT 35 4 2 - 6/ 29 12 8 - 20/ 75 26/ 104 25.0
VI - 3 - 1 4/ 15 - - - - - unicameral - - 4/ 15 26.7
VT 5 10 - - 10/ 30 41 14 7 62/ 150 72/ 180 40.0
VA* 25 7 4 - 11/ 40 24 6 - 30/ 100 41/ 140 29.3
WA 4 12 7 - 19/ 49 30 10 - 40/ 98 59/ 147 40.1
WV 50 0 3 - 3/ 34 8 7 - 15/ 100 18/ 134 13.4
WI* 30 6 2 - 8/ 33 18 10 - 28/ 99 36/ 132 27.3
WY 48 1 5 - 6/ 30   4 4 - 8/ 60    14/ 90     15.6

  * States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (AR, MO; IA, VA; IN, NC; OH, WI).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 14 non-partisans; in the House, 4 Progressives, 4 Independents.

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