Transgender Rights Map: How We Did It

R29 decided to rank every state in the United States on how it supports and protects its transgender population. We looked at rights, laws, and culture to create a 1-50 ranking of every state in the union. (If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.)

Since there’s been a lot of curiosity about how we got our ranking, we decided to spell it out here. Here’s how we did it!

Each state got a numerical score out of 100. That score was comprised of four main categories, with several subcategories under each. We took each state's score from each category, added them up, and used that final score to rank the list.

WORK & SCHOOL (Possible points: 25/100)

A statewide law prohibits employment discrimination based on gender expression and identity. (15/100)
A statewide law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in schools. (10/100)

HEALTH CARE (Possible points: 30/100)
A statewide law bans insurance discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. (10/100)Insurance providers in the state offer care that includes gender-identity related procedures. (10/100)
Number of healthcare providers with non-discrimination policies that include gender identity, as a percentage of total healthcare providers. (Percentage translated to points out of 10, so 70% would equal a score of 7/10.) (10/100)

SAFETY (10/100)*
A state’s hate-crime law includes gender identity and expression. (5/100)
A statewide law addresses bullying in school of trans or gender-nonconforming students. (5/100)

COMMUNITY (35/100)
Percentage of the state’s population that is protected by anti-discrimination ordinances that include gender identity and expression. (Percentage translated to points out of 10, so 70% would equal a score of 7/10.) (10/100)
A statewide law bans discrimination in housing based on gender identity and expression. (5/100)A statewide law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations, and public and private businesses, such as restaurants, movie theaters, libraries and shops. (10/100)
A state’s laws allow for a transgender person to change their documentation to reflect their correct identity. 0 = no change allowed. 1/3 = with proof of surgery, state will provided amended documents. 2/3 = with proof of surgery, state will re-issue documents. Full score = state allows document change with no proof of surgery. (10/100)

*SAFETY has fewer points than other categories not because it’s unimportant, but because we found that the presence of hate-crime laws doesn’t necessarily stop hate-crimes — and that a state’s community and culture of support did more to improve quality of life.
Here’s how the states break down, category by category. Please note, we rounded out the decimals. In instances where the score looks tied, the lower state had a lower score by less than one point. This also accounts for places where it looks like we added four and four and got nine.    
1- CALIFORNIA
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 27.9/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 35/35
Total: 98/100

2- VERMONT
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 26/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 35/35
Total: 96/100

3- WASHINGTON
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 19/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 35/35
Total: 89/100

4- OREGON
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 18/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 35/35
Total: 88/100

5- COLORADO
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 19/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 28/35
Total: 82/100

6- ILLINOIS
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 18/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 32/35
Total: 79/100

7- MAINE
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 17/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 32/35
Total: 79/100

8- CONNECTICUT
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 15/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 28/35
Total: 78/100

9- MINNESOTA
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 28/30
Total: 71

10- MASSACHUSETTS
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 17/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 18/35
Total: 71

11- IOWA
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 32/35
Total: 70

12- HAWAII
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 3/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 32/35
Total: 70

13- NEW JERSEY
Work & School: 25/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 28/35
Total: 70

14- DELAWARE
Work & School: 15/25
Health Care: 18/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 32/35
Total: 70/100

15- RHODE ISLAND
Work & School: 15/25
Health Care: 17/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 28/35
Total: 65/100

16- MARYLAND
Work & School: 15/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 10/10
Community: 28/35
Total: 61/100

17- NEVADA
Work & School: 15/25
Health Care: 5/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 32/35
Total: 56/100
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18- NEW MEXICO
Work & School: 15/25
Health Care: 3/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 28/35
Total: 51/100

19- NEW YORK
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 17/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 16/35
Total: 38/100

20- NORTH CAROLINA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 18/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 30/100

21- MICHIGAN
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 18/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total: 27/100

22- NORTH DAKOTA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 17/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 20/100

23- MISSOURI
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 20/100

24- TENNESSEE
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 18/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 0/35
Total: 18/100

25- UTAH
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 9/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total: 18/100

26- PENNSYLVANIA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 10/35
Total: 17/100

27- TEXAS
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total: 17

28- INDIANA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total: 17

29- KENTUCKY
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total: 16/100

30- NEW HAMPSHIRE
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 4/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 16/100

31- FLORIDA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 8/35
Total: 15/100

32- ARKANSAS
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 3/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 15/100

33- WISCONSIN
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 5/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total 14/100

34- ARIZONA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 14/100

35- VIRGINIA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 14/100

36- NEBRASKA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 4/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 9/35
Total: 13/100

37- GEORGIA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 9/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 4/35
Total: 12/100

38- WEST VIRGINIA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 3/30
Safety: 5/10
Community: 4/35
Total: 12/100

39- OKLAHOMA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 6/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 12/100

40- LOUISIANA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 4/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 8/35
Total: 12/100

41- SOUTH CAROLINA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 10/100

42- SOUTH DAKOTA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 3/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 7/35
Total: 10/100

43- OHIO
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 7/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 2/35
Total: 9/100

44- IDAHO
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 6/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 9/100

45- ALASKA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 5/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 8/100

46- KANSAS
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 8/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 0/35
Total: 8/100

47- ALABAMA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 4/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 8/100

48- WYOMING
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 4/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 8/100

49- MONTANA
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 2/30
Safety: 0/10Community: 5/35
Total: 7/100

50- MISSISSIPPI
Work & School: 0/25
Health Care: 3/30
Safety: 0/10
Community: 3/35
Total: 6/100

Select Resources:
HRC’s Health Equality Index
Lamda Legal's Birth Certificate Guide

HRC's Finding Insurance For Transgender-Related Health Care

MAP's Non-Discrimination Laws

HRC's Non-Discrimination Laws & Policies Map

ACLU's Non-Discrimination Laws Map


Still curious? Let us know what's on your mind in the comments. 

Check out our full Trans America series here
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