Georgia among worst for women, ranking shows

10:07 a.m. Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 AJC Homepage

 As the incredible Tammy Wynette so memorably put it, sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. 

But it’s harder in some places than others, and the bad news for Georgia is – according to a calculation on a series of indices – this seems to be one of them.

 Georgia is the sixth-worst state for women, based on a series of economic, social and safety measures, as calculated by WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based purveyor of financial advice.  

The WalletHub folks took a laundry list of metrics to come up with their ranking. They weighted them according to what they felt was most important (like any list, there’s a bit of subjectivity here, sure).

Whatever the weighting, however, Georgia ranked way down the line on an awful lot of measures. With a ranking of one meaning best and 25 average, we are -- on most things -- a lot closer to the bottom than the top.  

For example, the state is 45th in the share of women in poverty, 47th in the rate of women without health insurance, 43rd in the life expectancy of women and a still-below-average 29th in the dropout rate for women.  

And Georgia tied for 46th on female unemployment.

Yet there’s a bit of consolation there. Where do you think California ranks? That great, shining bastion of the New Age, that exemplar of women’s rights, that Hollywoodized home of cinematic hype and wall-to-wall hipper-than-thou?  

Glad you asked. They are tied with Georgia. So there.  

And it is not all negative. Georgia, for example, ranks fifth in the nation for female-owned businesses (Alaska is number one).  

As it happens, Wells Fargo today released a report on the economic status of women, with a focus on the pay gap between genders. The bank’s economists also delve into the reasons for the differences between men and women on pay and hours worked and even why they are in the workforce (or not). 

But Wells Fargo is taking a macro, that is, a national view and the situation is truly not the same everywhere.

For what it’s worth, the best states for women are clustered in the Midwest and Northeast, according to WalletHub’s calculations.  

And who, you may inquire, is at the bottom? What’s the worst state for women, a place whose data can only make Georgians feel better about the economic status of females?  

Well, as we used to be fond of saying: Thank God for Mississippi.  

Which, as it happens, is the place where Tammy Wynette was born. So she surely knew what she was singin’ about.  

But then, if you’ve heard Tammy sing, you knew that already. 

_________________________

Worst states for women 

46 Georgia  

47 Nevada  

48 South Carolina  

49 Alabama  

50 Louisiana  

51 Mississippi  

Best states for women:

1 Minnesota 

2 Vermont  

3 North Dakota  

4 Massachusetts  

5 New Hampshire  

Source: WalletHub

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