Women in State Legislatures 2021


In 2021, 2,280, or 30.9% the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women currently hold 560, or 28.4%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,720, or 031.8%, 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 2021 is:

  Total Legislators State Senators State Reps.
Democrats 1,511 66.3% 363 64.8% 1,148 66.7%
Republicans 748 32.8% 184 32.9% 564 32.8%
Nonpartisans* 13 0.6% 13 2.3% - -
Independents 6 0.3% - - 6 0.3%
Progressives 2 0.1% - - 2 0.1%
TOTAL 2,280 100.1% 560 100.0% 1,720 99.9%
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Top 10 States

Nevada (60.3%)
Colorado (46.0%)
Rhode Island (45.1%)
Arizona (44.4%)
New Mexico (43.8%)
Maine (43.5%)
Oregon (42.2%)
Vermont (42.2%)
Washington (41.5%)
Maryland (41.0%)

Bottom 10 States
West Virginia (11.9%)
Alabama (15.7%)
Mississippi (16.1%)
Tennessee (16.7%)
South Carolina (17.6%)
Wyoming (17.8%)
Louisiana (18.1%)
Oklahoma (20.8%)
North Dakota (22.0%)
Arkansas (23.0%)

State Legislative Leadership

15 women serve as presidents of senates or presidents pro tempore:
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)

7 women serve as speakers of state houses:
Louise Stutes (R-AK)
Adrienne Jones (D-MD)
Melissa Hortman (D-MN)
Tina Kotek (D-OR)
Eileen Filler-Corn (D-VA)
Mitzi Johnson (D-VT)
Laurie Jinkins (D-WA)


Women in D.C. and the Territories

There are currently 53 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 53, 17 serve as senators, 16 serve as representatives and 20 serve on unicameral bodies.

  Total Women Total Legislature % Women Overall
American Samoa 2 (2NP) 39 5.1%
District of Columbia 7 (5D, 2I) 13 53.8%
Guam 8 (5D, 3R) 15 53.3%
Northern Mariana Islands 7 (6D, 1I) 29 24.1%
Puerto Rico 24 (8PNP, 11PPD, 4 Third Party)* 78 30.8%
Virgin Islands 5 (3D, 2I) 15 33.3%

*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*

*Data as of 12/31/2020

  • 552 (25.5%) of the 2,162 women state legislators serving nationwide are women of color (134 senators, 418 representatives; 531D, 20R, 1Prg.).
  • Women of color constitute 7.5% 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 2021

  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 49 4 0 - 4/ 35 11 7 - 18/ 105 22/ 140 15.7
AK* 27 1 4 - 5/ 20 7 6 - 13/ 40 18/ 60 30.0
AZ 4 9 6 - 15/ 30 15 10 - 25/ 60 40/ 90 44.4
AR 41 3 4 - 7/ 35 10 14 - 24/ 100 31/ 135 23.0
AS - - - 1 1/ 18 - - 1 1/ 21 2/ 39 5.1
CA 24 11 4 - 15/ 40 17 5 - 22/ 80 37/ 120 30.8
CO 2 11 1 - 12/ 35 28 6 - 34/ 65 46/ 100 46.0
CT 17 9 1 - 10/ 36 34 20 - 54/ 151 64/ 187 34.2
DC - - 5 2 7/ 13 - - - - - unicameral - - 7/ 13 53.8
DE 25 7 0 - 7/ 21 11 1 - 12/ 41 19/ 62 30.6
FL 15 8 7 - 15/ 40 23 17 - 40/ 120 55/ 160 34.4
GA 19 15 2 - 17/ 56 44 16 - 60/ 180 77/ 236 32.6
GU - 5 3 - 8/ 15 - - - - - unicameral - - 8/ 15 53.3
HI 18 9 0 - 9/ 25 14 2 - 16/ 51 25/ 76 32.9
ID 26 4 6 - 10/ 35 6 16 - 22/ 70 32/ 105 30.5
IL 11 21 4 - 25/ 59 38 7 - 45/ 118 70/ 177 39.5
IN 39 3 7 - 10/ 50 15 13 - 28/ 100 38/ 150 25.3
IA 32 7 5 - 12/ 50 21 10 - 31/ 100 43/ 150 28.7
KS 30 6 10 - 16/ 40 19 14 - 33/ 125 49/ 165 29.7
KY 34 3 3 - 6/ 38 17 14 - 31/ 100 37/ 138 26.8
LA 44 3 3 - 6/ 39 8 12 - 20/ 105 26/ 144 18.1
ME 6 9 4 - 13/ 35 47 20 1 68/ 151 81/ 186 43.5
MD 10 13 2 - 15/ 47 54 8 - 62/ 141 77/ 188 41.0
MA 23 12 0 - 12/ 40 44 5 1 50/ 160 62/ 200 31.0
MI* 13 8 3 - 11/ 38 27 15 - 42/ 110 53/ 148 35.8
MN* 13 14 7 - 21/ 67 38 13 - 51/ 134 72/ 201 35.8
MS 48 4 7 - 11/ 52 10 7 - 17/ 122 28/ 174 16.1
MO 38 5 6 - 11/ 34 26 15 - 41/ 163 52/ 197 26.4
MP - 1 - 1 2/ 9 - 5   5/ 20 7/ 29 24.1
MT 20 11 1 - 12/ 50 17 19 - 36/ 100 48/ 150 32.0
NE* 35 - - 13 13/ 49 - - - - - unicameral - - 13/ 49 26.5
NV 1 8 2 - 10/ 21 20 8 - 28/ 42 38/ 63 60.3
NH* 12 5 5 - 10/ 24 93 49 - 142/ 400 152/ 424 35.8
NJ 27 9 1 - 10/ 40 19 7 - 26/ 80 36/ 120 30.0
NM 5 10 2 - 12/ 42 28 8 1 37/ 70 49/ 112 43.8
NY 16 13 5 - 18/ 63 51 4 - 55/ 150 73/ 213 34.3
NC 37 10 6 - 16/ 50 21 8 - 29/ 120 45/ 170 26.5
ND 42 4 7 - 11/ 47 8 12 - 20/ 94 31/ 141 22.0
OH* 21 4 4 - 8/ 33 18 15 - 33/ 99 41/ 132 31.1
OK 43 5 4 - 9/ 48 9 13 - 22/ 101 31/ 149 20.8
OR* 7 7 1 - 8/ 30 21 9 - 30/ 60 38/ 90 42.2
PA 31 8 6 - 14/ 50 32 27 - 59/ 203 73/ 253 28.9
PR - - - 14 14/ 27 - - 10 10/ 51 24/ 78 30.8
RI 3 17 2 - 19/ 38 29 3 - 32/ 75 51/ 113 45.1
SC 46 2 3 - 5/ 46 13 12 - 25/ 124 30/ 170 17.6
SD 33 1 8 - 9/ 35 4 17 - 21/ 70 30/ 105 28.6
TN 47 5 3 - 8/ 33 4 10 - 14/ 99 22/ 132 16.7
TX* 35 4 6 - 10/ 31 31 7 - 38/ 150 48/ 181 26.5
UT 40 4 1 - 5/ 29 12 8 - 20/ 75 25/ 104 24.0
VI - 3 - 2 5/ 15 - - - - - unicameral - - 5/ 15 33.3
VT* 7 10 - - 10/ 30 47 14 5 66/ 150 76/ 180 42.2
VA* 27 7 4 - 11/ 40 25 6 - 31/ 100 42/ 140 30.0
WA 9 14 5 - 19/ 49 33 9 - 42/ 98 61/ 147 41.5
WV 50 0 3 - 3/ 34 4 9 - 13/ 100 16/ 134 11.9
WI* 21 6 4 - 10/ 33 21 10 - 31/ 99 41/ 132 31.1
WY 45 - 5 - 5/ 30   4 7 - 11/ 60    16/ 90     17.8

  * States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (VT, OR; MI, MN, NH; OH, WI; AK, NJ, VA; NE, TX; MO, NC).
**  I = other parties; in the Senate, 13 non-partisans; in the House, 2 Progressives, 6 Independents.

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