Women in State Legislatures 2020

Number and Percentage of Women in State Legislatures, 1980-2020

Current State Legislature
2,159
(1,464D, 673R, 14NP, 4Ind, 4Prg)
29.2% of 7,383 seats

Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has more than quintupled.

NP = non-partisan, Ind = Independent, Prg = Progressive

State-by-State Summary Data on Current Women State Legislators

State Senate
520
(336D, 170R, 14NP)
26.4% of 1,972 seats
State House/Assembly
1,639
(1,128D, 503R, 4Ind, 4Prg)
30.3% of 5,411 seats
Party Breakdown
Party Total Legislators State Senators State Representatives
Democrats 1,464 (67.8%) 336 (64.6%) 1,128 (68.8%)
Republicans 674 (31.2%) 170 (32.7%) 504 (30.7%)
Nonpartisans* 14 (0.6%) 14 (2.7%) 0 (0%)
Independents 4 (0.2%) 0 (0%) 4 (0.2%)
Progressives 4 (0.2%) 0 (0%) 4 (0.2%)
TOTAL 2,160 (100.0%) 520 (100.0%) 1,640 (99.9%)

*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.

Top 10 States

Nevada (54.0%)
Colorado (44.0%)
Oregon (42.2%)
Washington (40.8%)
Vermont (40.6%)
Maryland (39.9%)
Arizona (38.9%)
Maine (37.6%)
Rhode Island (37.2%)
Alaska (36.7%
Illinois (37.3%)

Bottom 10 States

West Virginia (13.4%)
Tennessee (15.2%)
Wyoming (15.6%)
Alabama (15.7%)
Mississippi (16.1%)
South Carolina (16.5%)
Louisiana (18.1%)
Oklahoma (21.5%)
North Dakota (22.0%)
Delaware (24.2%)

State Legislators by Race and Ethnicity

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

 

Of the 2,160 current women state legislators:

  • 58 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • 322 identify as Black
  • 136 identify as Latina
  • 9 identify as Middle Eastern/North African
  • 2 identify as Multiracial Alone
  • 30 identify as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian 
  • 1,628 identify as white

State Legislative Leadership

Current Women Presidents or Presidents Pro Tem of Senates
20
(13D, 7R)

Cathy Giessel (R-AK)
Karen Fann (R-AZ)
Toni Atkins (D-CA)
Nancy Todd (D-CO)
Michelle Kidani (D-HI)
Susan Wagle (R-KS)
Beth Mizell (R-LA)
Karen Spilka (D-MA)
Melony G. Griffith (D-MD)
Mary Kiffmeyer (R-MN)
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)
Joan Huffman (R-TX)
Louise Lucas (D-VA)
Karen Keiser (D-WA)
Donna J. Boley (R-WV)

Current Women Speakers of State Houses
8
(8D)

KC Becker (D-CO)
Adrienne Jones (D-MD)
Sara Gideon (D-ME)
Melissa Hortman (D-MN)
Tina Kotek (D-OR)
Eileen Filler-Corn (D-VA)
Mitzi Johnson (D-VT)
Laurie Jinkins (D-WA)

Current Women in D.C. and Territorial Legislatures
40
(14D, 5R, 4Ind, 2NP, 11PNP, 3PPD, 1 Third Party)

Count includes women legislators in U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands) and on the D.C. City Council. PNP stands for Partido Nuevo Progresista, or the New Progressive Party, and PPD stands for Partido Popular Democratico, or the Popular Democratic Party, both parties specific to Puerto Rico.

Territorial Senate
10
(1R, 1NP, 6PNP, 1PPD, 1 Third Party)
Territorial House/Assembly
11
(1R, 2Ind, 1NP, 5PNP, 2PPD)
Territorial Unicameral Legislatures
19
(14D, 3R, 2Ind)

(Washington D.C., Guam, Virgin Islands)

Location Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 2 (2NP) 39 5.1%
District of Columbia 5 (4D, 1I) 13 38.5%
Guam 10 (7D, 3R) 15 66.7%
Northern Mariana Islands 4 (2I, 2R) 29 13.8%
Puerto Rico 15 (11PNP, 3PPD, 1 Third Party) 81 18.5%
Virgin Islands 4 (3D, 1I) 15 26.7%

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.
  • 2019: Nevada became the first state to have women hold a majority of state legislative seats (32 of 63, or 50.8%).

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

Women in State Legislatures 2020
State State Rank Senate Total Women/Total Senate House Total Women/Total House Total Women/Total Legis. %Women Overall
AL 47 4D, 0R 4/35 11D, 7R 18/105 22/140 15.7
AK 10 1D, 5R 6/20 6D, 10R 16/40 22/60 36.7
AZ 7 7D, 6R 13/30 14D, 8R 22/60 35/90 38.9
AR 33 3D, 4R 7/35 10D, 18R 28/100 35/135 25.9
AS n/a 0D, 0R, 1Ind 1/18 0D, 0R, 1Ind 1/21 2/39 5.1
CA* 20 10D, 4R 14/40 21D, 2R 23/80 37/120 30.8
CO 2 11D, 1R 12/35 26D, 6R 32/65 44/100 44.0
CT 16 8D, 1R 9/36 29D, 22R 51/151 60/187 32.1
DC n/a 4D, 1Ind 5/13 0D, 0R, unicameral 5/13 38.5
DE 41 4D, 1R 4/13 9D, 1R 10/41 15/62 24.2
FL 24 6D, 6R 12/40 22D, 13R 35/120 47/160 29.4
GA 23 13D, 2R 15/56 41D, 15R 56/180 71/236 30.1
GU n/a 7D, 3R 10/15 0D, 0R unicameral 10/15 66.7
HI 15 8D, 0R 8/25 14D, 3R 17/51 25/76 32.9
ID 19 4D, 5R 9/35 8D, 16R 24/70 33/105 31.4
IL* 10 20D, 2R 22/59 36D, 7R 43/118 65/177 36.7
IN* 35 2D, 8R 10/50 17D, 11R 28/100 38/150 25.3
IA 25 6D, 5R 11/50 23D, 10R 33/100 44/150 29.3
KS 26 6D, 7R 13/40 19D, 16R 35/125 48/165 29.1
KY 39 3D, 2R 5/38 19D, 10R 29/105 34/138 24.6
LA 44 3D, 3R 6/39 8D, 12R 20/105 26/144 18.1
ME 8 8D, 4R 12/35 47D, 11R 58/151 70/186 37.6
MD 6 13D, 2R 15/47 53D, 8R 61/141 76/188 40.4
MA 27 12D, 0R 12/40 39D, 6R, 1Ind 46/160 58/200 29.0
MI 13 8D, 3R 11/38 26D, 17R 43/110 54/148 36.5
MN 17 10D, 6R 16/67 35D, 13R 48/134 64/201 31.8
MS 46 4D, 7R 11/52 10D, 7R 17/122 28/174 16.1
MO 40 5D, 3R 8/34 20D, 20R 40/163 48/197 24.4
MP n/a 0D, 1R, 1/9 0D, 1R, 2Ind 3/20 4/29 13.8
MT 22 11D, 2R 13/50 22D, 11R 33/100 46/150 30.7
NE* 28 0D, 0R, 14Ind 14/49 0D, 0R, 0Ind unicameral 14/49 28.6
NV 1 9D, 1R 10/21 19D, 5R 24/42 34/63 54.0
NH 14 7D, 3R 10/24 109D, 25R 134/400 144/424 34.0
NJ* 20 9D, 1R 10/40 20D, 7R 27/80 37/120 30.8
NM 12 7D, 2R 9/42 25D, 7R 32/70 41/112 36.6
NY 18 14D, 5R 19/63 44D, 4R 48/150 67/213 31.5
NC* 35 7D, 4R 11/50 23D, 9R 32/120 43/170 25.3
ND 42 4D, 7R 11/47 8D, 12R 20/94 31/141 22.0
OH 30 4D, 4R 8/33 19D, 9R 28/99 36/132 27.3
OK 43 5D, 4R 9/48 11D, 12R 23/101 32/149 21.5
OR 3 7D, 2R 9/30 23D, 7R 30/60 39/90 43.3
PA 31 7D, 6R 13/50 31D, 24R 55/203 68/253 26.9
PR n/a 0D, 0R, 8Ind 8/30 0D, 0R, 7Ind 7/51 15/81 18.5
RI 9 14D, 2R 16/38 25D, 1R 26/75 42/113 37.2
SC 45 2D, 2R 4/46 13D, 12R 25/124 29/170 17.1
SD 38 2D, 5R 7/35 4D, 15R 19/70 26/105 24.8
TN 49 4D, 4R 8/33 4D, 8R 12/99 20/132 15.2
TX 37 4D, 6R 10/31 29D, 6R 35/150 45/181 24.9
UT 32 4D, 2R 6/29 12D, 9R 21/75 27/104 26.0
VI n/a 3D, 0R, 1Ind 4/15 0D, 0R, 0Ind unicameral 4/15 26.7
VT 5 10D, 0R 10/30 42D, 14R, 7Ind 63/150 73/180 40.6
VA* 28 7D, 4R 11/40 23D, 6R 29/100 40/140 28.6
WA 4 13D, 7R 20/49 30D, 10R 40/98 60/147 40.8
WV 50 0D, 3R 3/34 8D, 8R 16/100 19/134 14.2
WI 33 5D, 2R 7/33 17D, 10R 27/99 34/132 25.8
WY 48 1D, 5R 6/30   4D, 4R 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.