Women in State Legislatures 2019


In 2019, 2,126, or 28.8% of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 508, or 25.8%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,618, or 29.9%, of the 5,411 state house or assembly seats. Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has more than quintupled.

 

The party breakdown for women serving in state legislatures in 2019 is:

  Total Legislators State Senators State Reps.
Democrats 1,442 67.8% 328 64.6% 1,114 68.9%
Republicans 661 31.1% 165 32.5% 496 30.7%
Nonpartisans* 14 0.7% 14 2.8% - -
Independents 5 0.2% 1 0.2% 4 0.2%
Progressives 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
TOTAL 2,126 100.0% 508 100.1% 1,618 100.0%
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Top 10 States
Nevada (50.8%)
Colorado (47.0%)
Oregon (41.1%)
Washington (40.8%)
Vermont (40.0%)
Arizona (38.9%)
Alaska (38.3%)
Maryland (38.3%)
Maine (38.2%)
Rhode Island (37.2%)
Bottom 10 States
Mississippi (13.8%)
West Virginia (14.2%)
Louisiana (15.3%)
Wyoming (15.6%)
Alabama (15.7%)
South Carolina (15.9%)
Tennessee (15.9%)
North Dakota (21.3%)
Oklahoma (21.5%)
Kentucky (22.5%)

State Legislative Leadership


17 women serve as presidents of senates or presidents pro tempore:
Cathy Giessel (R-AK)
Karen Fann (R-AZ)
Toni Atkins (D-CA)
Lois Court (D-CO)
Michelle Kidani (D-HI)
Susan Wagle (R-KS)
Karen Spilka (D-MA)
Katherine Klausmeier (D-MD)
Mary Kiffmeyer (MN-R)
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)
Karen Keiser (D-WA)
Donna J. Boley (R-WV)

6 women serve as speakers of state houses:
KC Becker (D-CO)
Linda L. Upmeyer (R-IA)
Sara Gideon (D-ME)
Melissa Hortman (D-MN)
Tina Kotek (D-OR)
Mitzi Johnson (D-VT)


Women in D.C. and the Territories

There are currently 33 women serving in the legislatures of the U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands) and on the D.C. City Council. Of the 33, nine serve as senators, 11 serve as representatives and 13 serve on unicameral bodies.

  Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 3 (3NP) 37 8.1%
District of Columbia 4 (3D, 1I) 13 30.8%
Guam 5 (3D, 2R) 15 33.3%
Northern Mariana Islands 3 (3R) 29 10.3%
Puerto Rico 14 (11PNP, 3PPD)* 81 17.3%
Virgin Islands 4 (2D, 2I) 15 26.7%

*PNP stands for Partido Nuevo Progresista, or the New Progressive Party, and
PPD stands for Partido Popular Democratico, or the Popular Democratic Party.

 

Women of Color*

* Information as of 12/31/18; 2019 numbers will be posted when available.

  • 456 (24.3%) of the 1,875 women state legislators serving nationwide are women of color (112 senators, 344 representatives; 429D, 26R, 1Prg.).
  • Women of color constitute 6.2% of the total 7,383 state legislators. 

More information on women of color in elective office.


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.

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

Women in State Legislatures 2019 - State by State List

  State Senate Total Women/ House Total Women/ Total Women/ %Women
State Rank D R I** Total Senate D R I** Total House Total Legis. Overall
AL 46 4 0 - 4/ 35 11 7 - 18/ 105 22/ 140 15.7
AK* 7 1 5 - 6/ 20 6 11 - 17/ 40 23/ 60 38.3
AZ 6 7 6 - 13/ 30 14 8 - 22/ 60 35/ 90 38.9
AR 39 3 4 - 7/ 35 8 17 - 25/ 100 32/ 135 23.7
CA* 22 10 3 - 13/ 40 21 2 - 23/ 80 36/ 120 30.0
CO 2 12 1 - 13/ 35 26 8 - 34/ 65 47/ 100 47.0
CT 15 8 1 - 9/ 36 29 23 - 52/ 151 61/ 187 32.6
DE 35 4 1 - 5/ 21 9 1 - 10/ 41 15/ 62 24.2
FL* 21 6 6 - 12/ 40 23 13 - 36/ 120 48/ 160 30.0
GA* 20 13 2 - 15/ 56 42 15 - 57/ 180 72/ 236 30.5
HI 18 7 0 - 7/ 25 14 3 - 17/ 51 24/ 76 31.6
ID* 20 4 5 - 9/ 35 7 16 - 23/ 70 32/ 105 30.5
IL 11 18 2 - 20/ 59 36 8 - 44/ 118 64/ 177 36.2
IN 40 2 7 - 9/ 50 17 9 - 26/ 100 35/ 150 23.3
IA* 22 6 5 - 11/ 50 24 10 - 34/ 100 45/ 150 30.0
KS 28 6 8 - 14/ 40 17 15 - 32/ 125 46/ 165 27.9
KY 41 2 2 - 4/ 38 18 9 - 27/ 100 31/ 138 22.5
LA 48 3 2 - 5/ 39 7 10 - 17/ 105 22/ 144 15.3
ME 9 8 4 - 12/ 35 48 11 - 59/ 151 71/ 186 38.2
MD* 7 13 2 - 15/ 47 50 7 - 57/ 141 72/ 188 38.3
MA 27 11 0 - 11/ 40 38 7 1 46/ 160 57/ 200 28.5
MI 12 8 3 - 11/ 38 25 17 - 42/ 110 53/ 148 35.8
MN 17 10 6 - 16/ 67 35 13 - 48/ 134 64/ 201 31.8
MS 50 4 5 - 9/ 52 8 7 - 15/ 122 24/ 174 13.8
MO 34 6 3 - 9/ 34 19 21 - 40/ 163 49/ 197 24.9
MT* 22 11 2 - 13/ 50 21 11 - 32/ 100 45/ 150 30.0
NE 26 - - 14 14/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 14/ 49 28.6
NV 1 8 1 - 9/ 21 18 5 - 23/ 42 32/ 63 50.8
NH 14 7 3 - 10/ 24 109 26 - 135/ 400 145/ 424 34.2
NJ 19 9 1 - 10/ 40 21 6 - 27/ 80 37/ 120 30.8
NM 13 6 2 - 8/ 42 24 7 - 31/ 70 39/ 112 34.8
NY 16 14 5 - 19/ 63 46 4 - 50/ 150 69/ 213 32.4
NC 32 6 4 - 10/ 50 23 11 - 34/ 120 44/ 170 25.9
ND 43 4 7 - 11/ 47 8 11 - 19/ 94 30/ 141 21.3
OH 30 4 4 - 8/ 33 19 8 - 27/ 99 35/ 132 26.5
OK 42 5 4 - 9/ 48 11 12 - 23/ 101 32/ 149 21.5
OR 3 7 2 - 9/ 30 22 6 - 28/ 60 37/ 90 41.1
PA 33 6 6 - 12/ 50 31 22 - 53/ 203 65/ 253 25.7
RI 10 14 2 - 16/ 38 26 1 - 27/ 75 43/ 113 38.1
SC 44 2 2 - 4/ 46 12 11 - 23/ 124 27/ 170 15.9
SD* 37 2 4 - 6/ 35 4 15 - 19/ 70 25/ 105 23.8
TN* 44 4 4 1 9/ 33 4 8 - 12/ 99 21/ 132 15.9
TX* 37 3 6 - 9/ 31 28 6 - 34/ 150 43/ 181 23.8
UT 36 4 2 - 6/ 29 12 7 - 19/ 75 25/ 104 24.0
VT 5 10 - - 10/ 30 41 14 7 62/ 150 72/ 180 40.0
VA 31 7 3 - 10/ 40 22 5 - 27/ 100 37/ 140 26.4
WA 4 12 8 - 20/ 49 30 10 - 40/ 98 60/ 147 40.8
WV 49 0 3 - 3/ 34 8 8 - 16/ 100 19/ 134 14.2
WI 29 6 2 - 8/ 33 18 10 - 28/ 99 36/ 132 27.3
WY 47 1 5 - 6/ 30   4 4 - 8/ 60    14/ 90     15.6
Totals   328 165 15 508/ 1,972 1,114 496 8 1,618/ 5,411 2,126/ 7,383

28.8

  * States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (AK, MD; CA, FL, IA, MT; GA, ID; SC, TN; SD, TX).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 14 non-partisans; in the House, 4 Progressives, 4 Independents.

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