Number and Percentage of Women in State Legislatures, 1980-2021
Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has more than quintupled.
NP = non-partisan, Ind = Independent, Prg = Progressive
|Party||Total Legislators||State Senators||State Representatives|
|Democrats||1,518 (66.0%)||360 (64.3%)||1,158 (66.6%)|
|Republicans||760 (33.1%)||187 (33.4%)||573 (32.9%)|
|Nonpartisans*||13 (0.6%)||13 (2.3%)||0 (0%)|
|Independents||6 (0.3%)||0 (0%)||6 (0.3%)|
|Progressives||2 (0.1%)||0 (0%)||2 (0.1%)|
|TOTAL||2,299 (100%)||560 (100%)||1,739 (100%)|
*In Nebraska, where the legislature is unicameral, legislators are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Rhode Island (44.2%)
New Mexico (43.8%)
West Virginia (13.4%)
South Carolina (17.1%)
North Dakota (22.7%)
*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 twelve legislators whose race/ethnicity we could not confirm.
Of the 2,299 current women state legislators:
- 71 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
- 365 identify as Black
- 156 identify as Latina
- 11 identify as Middle Eastern/North African
- 2 identify as Multiracial Alone
- 31 identify as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian
- 1,702 identify as white
State Legislative Leadership
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)
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)
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.
(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.
|State||State Rank||Senate||Total Women/Total Senate||House||Total Women/Total House||Total Women/Total Legislators||%Women Overall|
|AL*||46||4D, 1R||5/35||12D, 7R||19/105||24/140||17.1|
|AK*||28||1D, 4R||5/20||7D, 6R||13/40||18/60||30.0|
|AZ||8||9D, 6R||15/30||13D, 10R||23/60||38/90||42.2|
|AR||41||3D, 4R||7/35||10D, 14R||24/100||31/135||23.0|
|CA||21||11D, 4R||15/40||19D, 5R||24/80||39/120||32.5|
|CO||5||11D, 1R||12/35||26D, 6R||32/65||44/100||44.0|
|CT||19||8D, 1R||9/36||34D, 20R||54/151||63/187||33.7|
|DE||27||7D, 0R||7/21||11D, 1R||12/41||19/62||30.6|
|FL||16||8D, 7R||15/40||23D, 17R||40/120||55/160||34.4|
|GA||18||15D, 2R||17/56||46D, 17R||63/180||80/236||33.9|
|HI||17||10D, 0R||10/25||14D, 2R||16/51||26/76||34.2|
|ID||22||4D, 7R||11/35||6D, 17R||23/70||34/105||32.4|
|IL||11||21D, 4R||25/59||39D, 8R||47/118||72/177||40.7|
|IN||40||2D, 7R||9/50||15D, 12R||27/100||36/150||24.0|
|IA||32||7D, 5R||12/50||21D, 10R||31/100||43/150||28.7|
|KS||30||6D, 10R||16/40||18D, 15R||33/125||49/165||29.7|
|KY||34||3D, 3R||6/38||17D, 14R||31/100||37/138||26.8|
|LA||44||3D, 3R||6/39||9D, 13R||22/105||28/144||19.4|
|ME||4||9D, 4R||13/35||48D, 20R, 1I||69/151||82/186||44.1|
|MD||7||13D, 2R||15/47||57D, 9R||66/141||81/188||43.1|
|MA||23||12D, 0R||12/40||45D, 5R||51/160||63/200||31.5|
|MI||15||8D, 3R||11/38||27D, 14R||41/110||52/148||35.1|
|MN*||12||14D, 7R||21/67||38D, 13R||51/134||72/201||35.8|
|MS||49||3D, 7R||10/52||10D, 7R||17/122||27/174||15.5|
|MO||38||5D, 6R||11/34||26D, 14R||40/163||51/197||25.9|
|MP||N/A||1D, 1Ind||2/9||0D, 5R||5/20||7/29||24.1|
|MT||20||11D, 1R||12/50||17D, 20R||37/100||49/150||32.7|
|NV||1||7D, 2R||9/21||20D, 8R||28/42||37/63||58.7|
|NH*||12||5D, 5R||10/24||94D, 48R||142/400||152/424||35.8|
|NJ||26||9D, 2R||11/40||19D, 7R||26/80||37/120||30.8|
|NM||6||10D, 2R||12/42||28D, 8R||37/70||49/112||43.8|
|NY||14||14D, 5R||19/63||52D, 4R||56/150||75/213||35.2|
|NC*||35||10D, 6R||16/50||21D, 8R||29/120||45/170||26.5|
|ND||42||4D, 7R||11/47||8D, 13R||21/94||32/141||22.7|
|OH*||24||4D, 4R||8/33||18D, 15R||33/99||41/132||31.1|
|OK||43||5D, 4R||9/48||9D, 13R||22/101||31/149||20.8|
|OR||2||6D, 1R||7/30||22D, 12R||34/60||41/90||45.6|
|PA||31||8D, 6R||14/50||32D, 29R||61/203||75/253||29.6|
|RI||3||16D, 2R||18/38||29D, 3R||32/75||50/113||44.2|
|SC||46||2D, 3R||5/46||13D, 11R||24/124||29/170||17.1|
|SD||33||1D, 8R||9/35||4D, 17R||21/70||30/105||28.6|
|TN||48||5D, 3R||8/33||4D, 10R||14/99||22/132||16.7|
|TX*||35||4D, 6R||10/31||31D, 7R||38/150||48/181||26.5|
|UT||39||4D, 1R||5/29||12D, 9R||21/75||26/104||25.0|
|VT||10||10D||10/30||46D, 13R, 5Ind||64/150||74/180||41.1|
|VA*||28||7D, 4R||11/40||25D, 6R||31/100||42/140||30.0|
|WA||8||14D, 5R||19/49||34D, 9R||43/98||62/147||42.2|
|WV||50||1D, 3R||4/34||4D, 10R||14/100||18/134||13.4|
|WI*||25||6D, 4R||10/33||21D, 10R||31/99||41/132||31.1|
* States share the same rank if their proportions of women legislators are exactly equal or round off to be equal (AK, VA; NH, MN; NC, NE, TX; OH, WI).
** Ind = other parties; in the Senate, 13 non-partisans; in the House, 2 Progressives, 6 Independents.