Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New data shows Alabama is one of the worst states for women in the country


Every year, the month of March is set aside as Women’s History Month to celebrate and honor women's contributions to history, culture and society in Alabama and across the nation.


This year, the National Women’s History Month theme is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” according to the National Women’s History Alliance. This observance also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality in Alabama and across the county.


In 2024, women in some parts of America still get the short end of the stick, including in the state of Alabama, according to the financial website WalletHub.

The outlet reports women represent more than two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers in the U.S. Their political representation also suffers, as women make up nearly 51% of the U.S. population but only 25% of the Senate and 29% of the House of Representatives.


In WalletHub's study of the Best & Worst States for Women in 2024, the findings show that Alabama is one of the worst states. The Yellow Hammer State ranks in at No. 48 on the list.

The report compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions: “Women’s Economic & Social Well-Being” and “Women’s Health Care & Safety”.


The only states that ranked lower than Alabama are Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. Casandra Happe, an analysis at WalletHub, said she believes that women in the U.S. are often treated second to men in the county.


“It comes down to a lot of existing gaps that we as a society have been working to close," she said. "Unfortunately, they still exist in certain places across the country when it comes to pay and access for women."

Alabama ranked low in categories such as high school graduation rates for women, the percent of women who votes in the 2020 Presidential Election and women's life expectancy at birth.

Happe said that previous rakings from WalletHub showed that Alabama is not a friendly state for working moms. She explained this may contribute to the lower rankings among other economic and social wellbeing categories.

“Alabama really struggled when it came to the friendliness toward working moms, which is based off of another study that we did for The Best and Worst States for Working Moms. They also came in pretty low when it came to the share of women who voted in the 2020 Presidential Election," she explained. "[Alabama] ranked 48 overall for that particular metric. So, unfortunately, that means that women in Alabama didn't necessarily get out and exercise their right to vote.”

Alabama also has a high ranking for the number of women who are living in poverty. The report showed that the state is No. 45 in this category.

“There may be areas where there isn't as much of a problem with women living in poverty, and there may be other areas where it's a much bigger concern,” said Happe. "But I do think it's something on a state level [that] should definitely be recognized, and policymakers should be working to make it [where] women aren't in this situation where they're living in poverty, be it because they don't have the same access to resources as maybe male counterparts do, or maybe it's the limitations that come with the cost of childcare for working moms."

The rankings aren’t all bad. Alabama ranked in the middle when it comes to “Median Earnings for Female Workers.”

“It is definitely something that can be improved, especially when you look at maybe what male counterparts are making it for median income versus female workers," Happe explained. "There's oftentimes a pay gap in there, and it's important that on a state level [for] policymakers look to implement policies and laws that help to close that gap.”

The data on the pay disparity in Alabama comes after a recent study shows women in the nation's workforce are experiencing worse effects when it comes to burnout and are leaving the workforce at a higher rate than men. Meantime, more than 56% of women say mental health is a concern, and just 37% say they can switch off from work.

The WalletHub study also found Republican states tend to be less women-friendly than states than lean more Democratic in political parties.

To see the rest of the data and to read the methodology of the rankings, visit the WalletHub website.

Hannah Holcombe is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is a Sophomore at the University of Alabama and is studying news media. She has a love for plants, dogs and writing. She hopes to pursue a career as a reporter.
Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.