Utah ranked 50th in US gender equality, including last in education, health

Utah ranked 50th in US gender equality, including last in education, health (Photo: MGN)

(KUTV) When it comes to women's equality, Utah ranks dead last in the United States -- that according to a new study.

That ranking is from WalletHub, that measured all 50 U.S. states in three categories: 1. Equal treatment in workplace environment, 2. Education and health, 3. Political empowerment.

The Beehive State did the worst in the education and health category, placing last, but Utah wasn't much better in the other categories either. It ranked 40th in political empowerment, its highest of the three categories and 43rd in workplace environment.

Those three categories were evaluated using 15 metrics, graded on a 100-point scale, comparing the difference between men and women in each category in each state.

"The state's overall rank was bogged down by multiple metrics, the lowest being income disparity," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. In that sub-category of workplace environment, Utah was 48th in a measurement of what women early in median weekly earnings.

Gonzalez also highlighted Utah's standing in other categories:

  • Disparity in average number of work hours - Utah 48th
  • Disparity in advanced educational attainment - Utah 50th

According to the rankings, Hawaii has the most equal treatment of women, followed by Nevada. Utah's neighbor to the west was tops in workplace environment and in political empowerment but Hawaii was best for education and health, and in the top 10 in all three categories. Nevada is 38th in education and health.

The western United States fared well in general but Utah and Idaho trailed their neighbors. The full map is below.

Not all the information was terrible for Utah women. The state was the best in terms of the unemployment disparity between men and women with a .3 percent difference. It was also sixth in the disparity of minimum-wage workers. The data suggests Utah has plenty of women working instead of unemployed with many working at minimum wage, while fewer are working at executive positions compared to men and the state is nearly last in income disparity at 48.

The contrast in education for Utah's women could help explain the work numbers. Utah led the nation in educational attainment disparity, with a .01 percent difference between men and women. It dropped from first to last in getting advanced education.

Other highlights of disparity measured for Utah's ranking:

  • Math scores - 46th
  • Doctor-visit affordability - 18th
  • Share of lawmakers in U.S. Senate -19th
  • Share of lawmakers in U.S. House - 12th
  • Share of lawmakers in Utah State Legislature - 38th

All of the factors were combined to give Utah gender equality score of 33.58.

Virginia was 49th with a score of 38.57 and Texas was 48th 38.88.

You can visit WalletHub for more information.

And from a global perspective, the U.S. ranks 45th in the World Economic Forum's ranking of 144 countries based on gender equality. That is significantly down from its previous ranking at 28.

"As for the country's low rank worldwide, the most prominent issue is the fact that, as opposed to other countries from the Global North that offer some sort of centralized, universal care, our country does not guarantee or extend basic health care insurance to all of its citizens," Gonzalez said. "This is particularly magnified for women in need of prenatal care or extended work leave."

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