Number and Percentage of Women in State Legislatures, 1980-2017
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||1,123 (60.6%)||257 (57.4%)||866 (61.6%)|
|Republicans||705 (38.3%)||176 (39.3%)||529 (37.7%)|
|Nonpartisans*||14 (0.8%)||14 (3.1%)||0 (0%)|
|Independents||6 (0.3%)||1 (0.2%)||5 (0.4%)|
|Progressives||5 (0.3%)||0 (0%)||0 (0%)|
|TOTAL||1,853 (100.1%)||448 (100.0%)||1,405 (100.2%)|
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
West Virginia (13.4%)
South Carolina (14.1%)
North Dakota (18.4%)
*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 1,853 current women state legislators:
- 36 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
- 269 identify as Black
- 114 identify as Latina
- 2 identify as Middle Eastern/North African
- 1 identifies as Multiracial Alone
- 22 identify as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian
- 1,416 identify as white
State Legislative Leadership
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)
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)
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.
- 2017: Twenty-five years after Althea Garrison's election and non-consensual outing, Danica Roem (D-VA) became the first openly transgender person to be elected and to serve in a state legislature in the United States.
- 2017: Crisanta Duran (D) became speaker of the Colorado General Assembly, the first Latina to lead either house of a state legislature.
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||45||3D | 0R | 1Ind||4/35||12D | 5R||17/105||21/140||15.0|
|AK||15||1D | 5R||6/20||3D | 9R||12/40||18/60||30.0|
|AZ*||1||6D | 8R||14/30||13D | 9R||22/60||36/90||40.0|
|AR||40||3D | 4R||7/35||3D | 15R||18/100||25/135||18.5|
|CA||30||6D | 3R||9/40||15D | 3R||18/80||27/120||22.5|
|CO||4||9D | 2R||11/35||18D | 8R||26/65||37/100||37.0|
|CT||19||7D | 2R||9/36||21D | 22R||43/151||52/187||27.8|
|DE||33||3D | 1R||4/21||7D | 2R||9/41||13/62||21.0|
|FL*||26||5D | 8R||13/40||14D | 13R||27/120||40/160||25.0|
|GA||22||11D | 2R||13/56||32D | 19R||51/180||64/236||27.1|
|HI||21||7D | 0R||7/25||11D | 3R||14/51||21/76||27.6|
|ID||13||4D | 5R||9/35||7D | 17R||24/70||33/105||31.4|
|IL||6||13D | 4R||17/59||33D | 12R||45/118||62/177||35.0|
|IN*||36||2D | 6R||8/50||11D | 11R||22/100||30/150||20.0|
|IA*||28||5D | 1R||6/50||19D | 9R||28/100||34/150||22.7|
|KS||18||4D | 11R||15/40||15D | 17R||32/125||47/165||28.5|
|KY||42||2D | 2R||4/38||9D | 10R||19/100||23/138||16.7|
|LA||44||3D | 2R||5/39||8D | 9R||17/105||22/144||15.3|
|ME||7||6D | 4R||10/35||35D | 17R | 1Ind||53/151||63/186||33.9|
|MD||10||9D | 2R||11/47||38D | 11R||49/141||60/188||31.9|
|MA||24||12D | 0R||12/40||30D | 8R | 1Ind||39/160||51/200||25.5|
|MI*||26||1D | 3R||4/38||17D | 16R||33/110||37/148||25.0|
|MN||9||9D | 7R||16/67||28D | 21R||49/134||65/201||32.3|
|MS||46||4D | 5R||9/52||10D | 7R||17/122||26/174||14.9|
|MO||31||5D | 2R||7/34||17D | 20R||37/163||44/197||22.3|
|MT||17||12D | 2R||14/50||21D | 8R||29/100||43/150||28.7|
|NE||23||0D | 0R | 13Ind||13/49||0D | 0R||- - unicameral - -||13/49||26.5|
|NV||3||5D | 2R | 1Ind||8/21||13D | 4R||17/42||25/63||39.7|
|NH||16||4D | 3R||7/24||80D | 39R||119/400||126/424||29.7|
|NJ||12||8D | 4R||12/40||18D | 7R||25/80||37/120||30.8|
|NM||14||5D | 2R||7/42||17D | 10R||27/70||34/112||30.4|
|NY||20||7D | 7R||14/63||42D | 3R||45/150||59/213||27.7|
|NC||25||6D | 7R||13/50||17D | 13R||30/120||43/170||25.3|
|ND||41||3D | 6R||9/47||7D | 10R||17/94||26/141||18.4|
|OH||32||3D | 3R||6/33||13D | 10R||23/99||29/132||22.0|
|OK*||48||2D | 4R||6/48||6D | 8R||14/101||20/149||13.4|
|OR||8||6D | 2R||8/30||19D | 3R||22/60||30/90||33.3|
|PA||39||3D | 4R||7/50||19D | 21R||40/203||47/253||18.6|
|RI||11||11D | 1R||12/38||21D | 2R||23/75||35/113||31.0|
|SC||47||2D | 2R||4/46||11D | 9R||20/124||24/170||14.1|
|SD*||36||0D | 5R||5/35||3D | 13R||16/70||21/105||20.0|
|TN||43||2D | 3R||5/33||7D | 9R||16/99||21/132||15.9|
|TX||34||2D | 6R||8/31||21D | 8R||29/150||37/181||20.4|
|UT||35||3D | 3R||6/29||9D | 6R||15/75||21/104||20.2|
|VT*||1||9D | 2R||11/30||40D | 13R | 8Ind||61/150||72/180||40.0|
|VA||38||7D | 3R||10/40||13D | 4R||17/100||27/140||19.3|
|WA||4||10D | 9R||19/49||25D | 11R||36/98||55/147||37.4|
|WV||48||0D | 3R||3/34||2D | 13R||15/100||18/134||13.4|
|WI*||28||6D | 2R||8/33||13D | 9R||22/99||30/132||22.7|
|WY||50||1D | 2R||3/30||3D | 4R||7/60||10/90||11.1|
|Totals||257D | 176R | 15Ind||448/1,972||865D | 529R | 11Ind||1,405/5,411||1,853/7,383||25.1|
* States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal.