Most of us don't have the luxury of being able to move wherever we like, whenever we like. (Otherwise I would be in the South of France right now.) But in case you are considering a move, it literally pays to learn about your options. With the gender wage gap being what it is — and what it calls a "clear national disillusion with the state of gender equality" (that would be accurate) — MoveHub decided to study which U.S. states offer the best quality of life for women.
The study used data from all 50 states on the gender pay gap, political representation in the state legislature, education equality, access to health insurance, reproductive rights, and number of incidents of violence against women by men. The researchers combined rankings for each factor to present an overall score. This may not come as a shock to most of you, but the study found that states with fewer women in the legislature also scored lower in other fields, like equal pay and reproductive rights. The obvious conclusion to draw is that electing more women leads to better overall quality of life, since wage equality benefits everybody.
And the best state for women to live is... Hawaii! Among other reasons, the Aloha State earned the number-one spot because only 6% of the female population lacks health insurance, one of the lowest figures. It also has one of the lowest rates of women being murdered by men.
Other states that fared well included Vermont, Minnesota, Illinois, and Maryland (teeny-tiny shoutout to my home state). States that are considered the worst for women include Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Given that lawmakers in Oklahoma recently introduced a bill that would require a woman to seek permission from the man who impregnated her to have an abortion — which, as our writer mentioned, not only throws us back to the Stone Age but violates the Constitution — this makes sense.
You really don't have to twist our arm to get us to move to Hawaii, but it's comforting to know that the sunny state has a sunny outlook on women's rights.
It’s 2017, and yet women are still fighting for equality. Data suggests it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap, but it shouldn’t take a century to get what we want. We want more, and Refinery29 is here to help — because 135 years is too long to wait for what we deserve today.