Updated Data from the Center for American Women and Politics
According to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, the top three states for women’s representation in state legislatures in 2023 are Nevada (61.9%), Colorado (50%), and Arizona (47.8%). CAWP’s annual ranking of states additionally shows that the bottom three states for women’s share of state legislative seats are currently West Virginia (11.9%), Mississippi (14.4%), and Tennessee (14.4%). While women’s state legislative representation is at a record high, women still hold only 32.7% of all seats nationwide.
Learn more, and see where your state ranks, at our Women in State Legislatures 2023 fact sheet. Take a deeper look at what happened for women in state legislative elections in 2022 in part three of our report on the 2022 midterms, Women in Election 2022: Marking Midterm Progress.
For the first time in history, more than one state has reached or surpassed gender parity in state legislative representation, with both Nevada and Colorado having hit or exceeded the parity point. As a result of the 2018 midterm elections, Nevada’s legislature reached 50.8% women, becoming the first state in history to have a majority-women legislature. Following the 2022 elections, Colorado had been on track to have a majority-women legislature, but two women legislators resigned between Election Day and the swearing-in of the new legislature, and just one was succeeded by another woman, so Colorado’s legislature hit the parity point, but did not exceed it, and 50% of seats are held by women.
In addition, six state legislative chambers are at or above gender parity in representation: the Arizona Senate (53.3%), the Colorado House (58.5%), the Nevada Senate (61.9%), the Nevada Assembly (61.9%), the New Hampshire Senate (50%), and the New Mexico House (54.3%).
The state legislative section of CAWP’s report on the 2022 midterms, Women in Election 2022: Marking Midterm Progress, contains additional detail about how women fared in election 2022 nationally and in each state. In addition to providing historical comparisons to previous and record cycles, particularly 2018 and 2020, the report offers data on women’s representation among all state legislative nominees and general election win rates by gender, party, and incumbency status.
Some key findings include:
- A record number of women were state legislative nominees in 2022, but women were still just one-third of all state legislative nominees.
- While women were 48.3% of Democratic state legislative nominees, they were only 24% of Republican nominees.
- The net gain in women’s state legislative representation as a result of election 2022 matched that of 2020, but the partisan trend differed. Gains for Democratic women were up in 2022 from 2020, while Republican women’s gains were smaller than they were as a result of the 2020 election.
- The number of women in state legislatures went up in 32 states, down in 12 states, and stayed the same in six states between 2022 and 2023.
Part one of CAWP’s report on women in the 2022 midterms, an analysis of women in the 118th Congress, is available here, and part two, regarding women in statewide elective executive office, is available here. CAWP data on race and ethnicity of women serving in state legislatures is currently being collected and will be shared in a forthcoming release.
Daniel De Simone: firstname.lastname@example.org; 760.703.0948