Number and Percentage of Women in State Legislatures, 1980-2016
Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has more than quintupled.
NP = non-partisan, Ind = Independent, Prg = Progressive
|Party||Total Legislators||State Senators||State Representatives|
|Democrats||1,073 (59.6%)||263 (59.4%)||810 (59.7%)|
|Republicans||706 (39.2%)||168 (37.9%)||538 (39.7%)|
|Nonpartisans*||11 (0.6%)||11 (2.5%)||0 (0%)|
|Working Families Party||1 (0.1%)||0 (0%)||1 (0.1%)|
|Independents||5 (0.3%)||1 (0.2%)||4 (0.3%)|
|Progressives||3 (0.2%)||0 (0%)||3 (0.2%)|
|TOTAL||1,799 (100.0%)||443 (100.0%)||1,356 (100.0%)|
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
South Carolina (14.1%)
West Virginia (14.9%)
*Women who self-identify as more than one race/ethnicity are included on CAWP pages for each group with which they identify. We strongly caution against adding totals from each racial/ethnic group should, as it will double count officeholders.
Of the 1,799 current women state legislators:
- 39 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
- 255 identify as Black
- 87 identify as Latina
- 1 identifies as Middle Eastern/North African
- 1 identifies as Multiracial Alone
- 18 identify as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian
- 1,410 identify as white
State Legislative Leadership
Sylvia Allen (R-AZ)
Ellen S. Roberts (R-CO)
Patricia Blevins (D-DE)
Pam Jochum (D-IA)
Susan Wagle (R-KS)
Tonya Schuitmaker (R-MI)
Sandra Pappas (DFL-MN)
Ann H. Rest (DFL-MN)
Debby Barrett (R-MT)
Sharon Carson (R-NH)
Nia Gill (D-NJ)
Mary Kay Papen (D-NM)
Dianne M. Rosenbaum (D-OR)
M. Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-RI)
Pam Roach (R-WA)
Mary Lazich (R-WI)
Donna J. Boley (R-WV)
Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-CO)
Linda L. Upmeyer (R-IA)
Tina Kotek (D-OR)
Beth Harwell (R-TN)
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.
- 2013:Tina Kotek (D-OR) became the country's first openly lesbian state House speaker.
For other important state legislative firsts, visit the Milestones for Women in American Politics page.
|State||State Rank||Senate||Total Women/Total Senate||House||Total Women/Total House||Total Women/Total Legis.||%Women Overall|
|AL||46||3D | 0R | 1Ind||4/35||11D | 5R | Ind||16/105||20/140||14.3|
|AK*||11||1D | 4R||5/20||2D | 10R||12/40||17/60||28.3|
|AZ||3||6D | 7R | Ind||13/30||11D | 8R | Ind||19/60||32/90||35.6|
|AR||36||3D | 4R||7/35||5D | 14R||19/100||26/135||19.3|
|CA*||22||8D | 3R | Ind||11/40||11D | 8R | Ind||19/80||30/120||25.0|
|CO||1||8D | 4R||12/35||20D | 10R||30/65||42/100||42.0|
|CT||16||8D | 1R||9/36||23D | 19R||42/151||51/187||27.3|
|DE||28||5D | 1R||6/21||7D | 2R||9/41||15/62||24.2|
|FL*||22||6D | 6R||12/40||13D | 15R||28/120||40/160||25.0|
|GA||27||8D | 2R||10/56||28D | 19R||47/180||57/236||24.2|
|HI||14||8D | 0R||8/25||11D | 3R||14/51||22/76||28.9|
|ID||17||4D | 6R||10/35||7D | 13R||20/70||30/105||28.6|
|IL||6||12D | 4R||16/59||32D | 10R||42/118||58/177||32.8|
|IN||34||3D | 6R||9/50||12D | 10R||22/100||31/150||20.7|
|IA||31||6D | 1R||7/50||21D | 6R||27/100||34/150||22.7|
|KS*||29||4D | 9R||13/40||10D | 17R||27/125||40/165||24.2|
|KY||42||2D | 2R||4/38||10D | 8R||18/100||22/138||15.9|
|LA||44||3D | 2R||5/39||9D | 9R||18/105||23/144||16.0|
|ME||13||5D | 3R||8/35||30D | 16R||46/151||54/186||29.0|
|MD||7||11D | 2R||13/47||35D | 11R||46/141||59/188||31.4|
|MA*||22||12D | 0R||12/40||29D | 9R||38/160||50/200||25.0|
|MI||35||1D | 3R||4/38||16D | 9R||25/110||29/148||19.6|
|MN||5||15D | 8R||23/67||26D | 18R||44/134||67/201||33.3|
|MS||50||4D | 5R||9/52||10D | 5R||15/122||24/174||13.8|
|MO||26||5D | 1R||6/34||19D | 24R||43/163||49/197||24.9|
|MT||9||12D | 6R||18/50||21D | 8R||29/100||47/150||31.3|
|NE||32||0D | 0R | 11Ind||11/49||0D | 0R | Ind||- - unicameral - -||11/49||22.4|
|NV||8||2D | 2R||4/21||9D | 7R||16/42||20/63||31.7|
|NH||15||4D | 4R | Ind||8/24||68D | 45R||113/400||121/424||28.5|
|NJ*||11||8D | 3R||11/40||18D | 7R||25/80||36/120||30.0|
|NM||19||4D | 3R||7/42||13D | 10R||23/70||30/112||26.8|
|NY*||20||6D | 5R||11/63||37D | 5R | 1Ind||43/150||54/213||25.4|
|NC||30||7D | 5R||12/50||14D | 11R||25/120||37/170||21.8|
|ND||39||4D | 4R||8/47||11D | 8R||19/94||27/141||19.1|
|OH*||22||4D | 3R||7/33||13D | 12R||25/99||32/132||24.2|
|OK*||47||3D | 3R||6/48||5D | 10R||15/101||21/149||14.1|
|OR||10||6D | 2R||8/30||16D | 4R||20/60||28/90||31.1|
|PA||40||4D | 5R||9/50||15D | 23R||38/203||47/253||18.6|
|RI||18||9D | 1R||10/38||17D | 4R||21/75||31/113||27.4|
|SC*||47||1D | 1R||2/46||12D | 10R||22/124||24/170||14.1|
|SD||33||1D | 6R||7/35||4D | 11R||15/70||22/105||21.0|
|TN||41||2D | 4R||6/33||7D | 9R||16/99||22/132||16.7|
|TX||37||2D | 5R||7/31||15D | 13R | 1Ind||29/150||36/181||19.9|
|UT||43||3D | 3R||6/29||7D | 3R||10/75||16/104||15.4|
|VT||2||7D | 2R||9/30||44D | 15R | 6Ind||65/150||74/180||41.1|
|VA*||38||6D | 3R||9/40||14D | 4R||18/100||27/140||19.3|
|WA||4||9D | 8R||17/49||19D | 13R||32/98||49/147||33.3|
|WV||44||0D | 2R||2/34||6D | 12R||18/100||20/134||14.9|
|WI*||20||7D | 4R||11/33||14D | 9R||23/99||34/132||25.8|
|WY*||49||1D | 0R||1/30||3D | 8R||11/60||12/90||13.3|
|264D | 167R | 12Ind||443/1,972||816D | 540R | 7Ind||1,363/5,411||1,806/7,383||24.5|
* States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal.