Women in State Legislatures 2023

Number and Percentage of Women in State Legislatures, 1980-2023

Current State Legislature
2,416
(1,585D, 806R, 20NP, 4Ind, 1Prg)
32.7% 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
594
(385D, 190R, 18NP, 1Ind)
30.1% of 1,972 seats
State House/Assembly
1,822
(1,200D, 616R, 2NP, 3Ind, 1Prg)
33.7% of 5,411 seats
Party Breakdown
Party Total Legislators State Senators State Representatives
Democrats 1,585 (65.6%) 385 (64.8%) 1,200 (65.9%)
Republicans 806 (33.4%) 190 (32.0%) 616 (33.8%)
Nonpartisans* 20 (0.8%) 18 (3.0%) 2 (0.1%)
Independents 4 (0.2%) 1 (0.2%) 3 (0.2%)
Progressives 1 (0.05%) 0 (0%) 1 (0.1%)
TOTAL 2,416 (100%) 594 (100%) 1,822 (100%)

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

Top 10 States

Nevada (60.3%)
Colorado (50.0%)
Arizona (47.8%)
Washington (46.3%)
Vermont (45.0%)
New Mexico (44.6%)
Rhode Island (44.2%)
Maine (44.1%)
Oregon (42.2%)
Maryland (42.0%)

Bottom 10 States

West Virginia (11.9%)
Tennessee (14.4%)
South Carolina (14.7%)
Mississippi (14.9%)
Alabama (17.1%)
Louisiana (19.4%)
Oklahoma (19.5%)
Wyoming (22.2%)
Arkansas (23.7%)
North Dakota (24.1%)

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 18 legislators whose race/ethnicity we could not confirm.

Of the 2,291 current women state legislators:

  • 78 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • 368 identify as Black
  • 153 identify as Latina
  • 11 identify as Middle Eastern/North African
  • 2 identify as Multiracial Alone
  • 32 identify as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian 
  • 1,678 identify as white

Race/Ethnicity data is as of 2022. Data for 2023 will be updated after collection is complete.

State Legislative Leadership

Leadership data is as of 2022. Data for 2023 will be updated after collection is complete.

More information on women in state legislative leadership

Current Women Presidents or Presidents Pro Tem of Senates
15
(11D, 4R)

Karen Fann (R-AZ)
Toni Atkins (D-CA)
Kerry Donovan (D-CO)
Michelle Kidani (D-HI)
Beth Mizell (R-LA)
Karen Spilka (D-MA)
Melony G. Griffith (D-MD)
Sharon M. Carson (R-NH)
M. Teresa Ruiz (D-NJ)
Mimi Stewart (D-NM)
Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-NY)
Louise Lucas (D-VA)
Rebecca Balint (D-VT)
Karen Keiser (D-WA)
Donna J. Boley (R-WV)

Current Women Speakers of State Houses
6
(4D, 2R)

Louise Stutes (R-AK)
Jan Jones (R-GA)
Adrienne Jones (D-MD)
Melissa Hortman (D-MN)
Jill Krowinski (D-VT)
Laurie Jinkins (D-WA)

Current Women in D.C. and Territorial Legislatures
54
(19D, 3R, 6Ind, 2NP, 8PNP, 11PPD, 5 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
17
(1D, 1Ind, 1NP, 5PNP, 6PPD, 3 Third Party)
Territorial House/Assembly
17
(5D, 1Ind, 1NP, 3PNP, 5PPD, 2 Third Party)
Territorial Unicameral Legislatures
20
(13D, 4R, 3I)

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

Location Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 2 (2NP) 39 5.1%
District of Columbia 7 (5D, 2Ind) 13 53.8%
Guam 9 (5D, 4R) 15 60.0%
Northern Mariana Islands 7 (6D, 1Ind) 29 24.1%
Puerto Rico 24 (8PNP, 11PPD, 4 Third Party)* 78 30.8%
Virgin Islands 5 (3D, 2Ind) 15 33.3%

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 2022
State State Rank Senate Total Women/Total Senate House Total Women/Total House Total Women/Total Legislators %Women Overall
AL 46 3D, 1R 4/35 10D, 10R 20/105 24/140 17.1
AK 25 2D, 3R 5/20 7D, 6R, 2Ind 15/40 20/60 33.3
AZ 3 12D, 4R 16/30 18D, 9R 27/60 43/90 47.8
AR 42 2D, 3R 5/35 10D, 16R 26/100 31/135 23.0
AS N/A 1Ind** 1/18 1I 1/21 2/39 5.1
CA 11 15D, 3R 18/40 27D, 5R 32/80 50/120 41.7
CO 2 10D, 2R 12/35 33D, 5R 38/65 50/100 50.0
CT 18 10D, 2R 12/36 38D, 19R 57/151 69/187 36.9
DC N/A 5D, 2Ind 7/13 n/a -unicameral- 7/13 53.8
DE 15 8D, 0R 8/21 15D, 1R 16/41 24/62 38.7
FL 12 7D, 9R 16/40 25D, 15R 50/120 66/160 41.3
GA 22 14D, 2R 16/56 48D, 18R 66/180 82/236 34.7
GU N/A 5D, 3R 8/15 n/a -unicameral- 8/15 53.3
HI 20 8D, 0R 8/25 17D, 2R 19/51 27/76 35.5
ID 30 4D, 7R 11/35 5D, 16R 21/70 32/105 30.5
IL 13 19D, 6R 25/59 42D, 6R 48/118 73/177 41.2
IN 39 3D, 6R 9/50 15D, 16R 31/100 40/150 26.7
IA 34 8D, 7R 15/50 16D, 13R 29/100 44/150 29.3
KS 31 7D, 10R 17/40 17D, 16R 33/125 50/165 30.3
KY 35 3D, 5R 8/38 14D, 18R 32/100 40/138 29.0
LA 45 2D, 3R 5/39 10D, 13R 23/105 28/144 19.4
ME 8 11D, 3R 14/35 49D, 19R 68/151 82/186 44.1
MD 10 15D, 1R 16/47 56D, 7R 63/141 79/188 42.0
MA 27 12D, 0R 12/40 46D, 4R, 1Ind 51/160 63/200 31.5
MI 14 12D, 3R 15/38 33D, 12R 45/110 60/148 40.5
MN 16 19D, 3R 22/67 38D, 17R 55/134 77/201 38.3
MS 47 3D, 7R 10/52 9D, 7R 16/122 26/174 14.9
MO 36 5D, 7R 12/34 28D, 17R 45/163 57/197 28.9
MP N/A 1D, 1Ind 2/9 5D, 1I 6/20 8/29 27.6
MT 26 10D, 4R 14/50 15D, 19R 34/100 48/150 32.0
NE 19 18NP 18/49 n/a -unicameral- 18/49 36.7
NV 1 9D, 4R 13/21 20D, 5R 25/42 38/63 60.3
NH 17 7D, 5R 12/24 100D, 49R 149/400 161/424 38.0
NJ 21 8D, 3R 11/40 20D, 11R 31/80 42/120 35.0
NM 6 10D, 2R 12/42 31D, 7R 38/70 50/112 44.6
NY* 23 17D, 3R 20/63 50D, 3R 53/150 73/213 34.3
NC 33 13D, 4R 17/50 25D, 8R 33/120 50/170 29.4
ND 41 1D, 7R 8/47 9D, 18R 27/94 35/141 24.8
OH 37 3D, 5R 8/33 13D, 17R 30/99 38/132 28.8
OK 44 5D, 5R 10/48 10D, 9R 19/101 29/149 19.5
OR 9 7D, 2R 9/30 18D, 11R 29/60 38/90 42.2
PA 28 8D, 8R 16/50 35D, 28R 63/203 79/253 31.2
PR N/A 14Ind 14/27 n/a 10Ind 24/78 30.8
RI 7 15D, 2R 17/38 30D, 3R 33/75 50/113 44.2
SC 48 1D, 3R, 1nd 5/46 8D, 12R 20/124 25/170 14.7
SD 38 2D, 6R 8/35 4D, 18R 22/70 30/105 28.6
TN 49 5D, 3R 8/33 2D, 9R 11/99 19/132 14.4
TX 32 4D, 4R 8/31 32D, 14R 46/150 54/181 29.8
UT 40 5D, 1R 6/29 9D, 12R 21/75 27/104 26.0
VI N/A 3D, 2Ind 5/15 n/a -unicameral- 5/15 33.3
VT 5 12D, 0R 12/30 57D, 9R, 3Ind 69/150 81/180 45.0
VA* 23 7D, 3R 10/40 26D, 12R 38/100 48/140 34.3
WA 4 16D, 5R 21/49 35D, 12R 47/98 68/147 46.3
WV 50 0D, 4R 4/34 2D, 10R 12/100 16/134 11.9
WI 29 5D, 4R 9/33 20D, 13R 33/99 42/132 31.8
WY 43 0D, 7R 7/30 3D, 10R 13/60 20/90     22.2

* States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (NY, VA).
** Ind = other parties; in the Senate, 18 non-partisans, 1 Independent; in the House, 1 Progressive, 2 non-partisans, 3 Independents.