Women in State Legislatures 2019


In 2019, 2,137, or 28.9% of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 510, or 25.9%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,627, or 30.1%, 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 1,448 67.8% 331 64.9% 1,117 68.7%
Republicans 667 31.2% 165 32.4% 502 30.9%
Nonpartisans* 14 0.7% 14 2.7% - -
Independents 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
Progressives 4 0.2% - - 4 0.2%
TOTAL 2,137 100.1% 510 100.0% 1,627 100.0%
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Top 10 States
Nevada (52.4%)
Colorado (47.0%)
Oregon (42.2%)
Washington (41.5%)
Vermont (40.0%)
Arizona (38.9%)
Maryland (38.8%)
Alaska (38.3%)
Maine (38.2%)
Rhode Island (38.1%)
Bottom 10 States
West Viginia (13.4%)
Mississippi (13.8%)
Tennessee (15.2%)
Louisiana (15.3%)
Wyoming (15.6%)
Alabama (16.4%)
South Carolina (16.5%)
Oklahoma (21.5%)
Kentucky (21.7%)
North Dakota (22.0%)

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)

7 women serve as speakers of state houses:
KC Becker (D-CO)
Linda L. Upmeyer (R-IA)
Adrienne Jones (D-MD)
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 38 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 38, nine serve as senators, 11 serve as representatives and 18 serve on unicameral bodies.

  Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 2 (2NP) 39 5.1%
District of Columbia 4 (3D, 1I) 13 30.8%
Guam 10 (7D, 3R) 15 66.7%
Northern Mariana Islands 4 (2I, 2R) 29 13.8%
Puerto Rico 14 (11PNP, 3PPD)* 81 17.3%
Virgin Islands 4 (3D, 1I) 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*

  • 541 (25.3%) of the 2,137 women state legislators serving nationwide are women of color (131 senators, 410 representatives; 521D, 19R, 1Prg.).
  • Women of color constitute 7.3% of the total 7,383 state legislators. 
  • In addition, there are 31 women of color 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.

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

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 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 45 4 0 - 4/ 35 11 8 - 19/ 105 23/ 140 16.4
AK 8 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 36 3 4 - 7/ 35 9 17 - 26/ 100 33/ 135 24.4
AS - - - 1 1/ 18 - - 1 1/ 21 2/ 39 5.1
CA 18 11 3 - 14/ 40 21 3 - 24/ 80 38/ 120 31.7
CO 2 12 1 - 13/ 35 26 8 - 34/ 65 47/ 100 47.0
CT 15 8 1 - 9/ 36 30 23 - 53/ 151 62/ 187 33.2
DC - - 3 1 4/ 13 - - - - - unicameral - - 4/ 13 30.8
DE 37 4 1 - 5/ 21 9 1 - 10/ 41 15/ 62 24.2
FL 24 6 6 - 12/ 40 23 13 - 36/ 120 48/ 160 30.0
GA 23 13 2 - 15/ 56 42 15 - 57/ 180 72/ 236 30.5
GU - 7 3 - 10/ 15 - - - - - unicameral - - 10/ 15 66.7
HI 19 7 0 - 7/ 25 14 3 - 17/ 51 24/ 76 31.6
ID 20 4 5 - 9/ 35 7 17 - 24/ 70 33/ 105 31.4
IL 13 17 2 - 19/ 59 36 8 - 44/ 118 63/ 177 35.6
IN* 33 2 8 - 10/ 50 17 11 - 28/ 100 38/ 150 25.3
IA 25 6 5 - 11/ 50 23 10 - 33/ 100 44/ 150 29.3
KS 28 6 8 - 14/ 40 17 15 - 32/ 125 46/ 165 27.9
KY 42 2 2 - 4/ 38 18 8 - 26/ 100 30/ 138 21.7
LA 47 3 2 - 5/ 39 8 9 - 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 51 7 - 58/ 141 73/ 188 38.8
MA 27 11 0 - 11/ 40 38 7 1 46/ 160 57/ 200 28.5
MI 11 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 49 4 5 - 9/ 52 8 7 - 15/ 122 24/ 174 13.8
MO 38 6 3 - 9/ 34 18 20 - 38/ 163 47/ 197 23.9
MP - 1 - - 1/ 9 - 1 2 3/ 20 4/ 29 13.8
MT 22 11 2 - 13/ 50 22 11 - 33/ 100 46/ 150 30.7
NE 26 - - 14 14/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 14/ 49 28.6
NV 1 9 1 - 10/ 21 18 5 - 23/ 42 33/ 63 52.4
NH 14 7 3 - 10/ 24 109 26 - 135/ 400 145/ 424 34.2
NJ 21 9 1 - 10/ 40 21 6 - 27/ 80 37/ 120 30.8
NM 12 7 2 - 9/ 42 24 7 - 31/ 70 40/ 112 35.7
NY 16 14 5 - 19/ 63 46 4 - 50/ 150 69/ 213 32.4
NC* 33 6 4 - 10/ 50 23 10 - 33/ 120 43/ 170 25.3
ND 41 4 7 - 11/ 47 8 12 - 20/ 94 31/ 141 22.0
OH* 29 4 4 - 8/ 33 19 9 - 28/ 99 36/ 132 27.3
OK 43 5 4 - 9/ 48 11 12 - 23/ 101 32/ 149 21.5
OR 3 7 2 - 9/ 30 22 7 - 29/ 60 38/ 90 42.2
PA 31 7 6 - 13/ 50 31 23 - 54/ 203 67/ 253 26.5
PR - - - 7 7/ 30 - - 7 7/ 51 14/ 81 17.3
RI 10 14 2 - 16/ 38 26 1 - 27/ 75 43/ 113 38.1
SC 44 2 2 - 4/ 46 12 12 - 24/ 124 28/ 170 16.5
SD 39 2 4 - 6/ 35 4 15 - 19/ 70 25/ 105 23.8
TN 48 4 4 - 8/ 33 4 8 - 12/ 99 20/ 132 15.2
TX 40 3 6 - 9/ 31 27 6 - 33/ 150 42/ 181 23.2
UT 35 4 2 - 6/ 29 12 8 - 20/ 75 26/ 104 25.0
VI - 3 - 1 4/ 15 - - - - - unicameral - - 4/ 15 26.7
VT 5 10 - - 10/ 30 41 14 7 62/ 150 72/ 180 40.0
VA 32 7 3 - 10/ 40 22 5 - 27/ 100 37/ 140 26.4
WA 4 12 7 - 19/ 49 31 10 - 41/ 98 60/ 147 40.8
WV 50 0 3 - 3/ 34 8 7 - 15/ 100 18/ 134 13.4
WI* 29 6 2 - 8/ 33 18 10 - 28/ 99 36/ 132 27.3
WY 46 1 5 - 6/ 30   4 4 - 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 (IN, NC; OH, WI).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 14 non-partisans; in the House, 4 Progressives, 4 Independents.

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