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August 25, 2021

Maine ranks high for women's equality in workplace, politics — but not as high as before

Courtesy / WalletHub Maine ranked No. 4 this year in a comparison of women's equality in the workplace, politics, and education and health criteria.

Maine is better at providing equal opportunities for women than almost any other state, especially in the workplace and in politics, a new study finds.

But Maine has done better in past years of the annual evaluation. And when it comes to accessing education and health care, there’s room for improvement.

Maine ranked No. 4 in the 2021 analysis of “where women receive the most equal treatment,” published by financial website WalletHub Monday.

From first to third, only Nevada, Hawaii and Vermont ranked higher. Maine beat out New York, California and Iowa, Nos. 5, 6 and 7 respectively.

Last year, Maine was second in the country, and in 2019 ranked No. 1.

The WalletHub study evaluates each state by comparing differences between women and men residents in measures related to work environments, political empowerment, and education and health. This year, WalletHub said it considered 17 criteria, including disparities in income, unemployment rates, state legislators, advanced educational degrees and more. Data came from federal and other independent sources.

In addition to placing fourth among the best states overall, Maine ranked No. 2 for women’s political empowerment, surpassed only by Nevada. For equality in the workplace, Maine ranked No. 12 and was second to Vermont among northeastern states.

The comparison of education and health disparities ranked Maine far lower, however — No. 27. That measurement was based on educational attainment of men and women, as well as financial access to primary health care.

The only state in the Northeast to rank lower this year in education and health equality was New Hampshire, at No. 44.

The state ranking worst in women’s equality, No. 50, was Utah. It has held that ranking for four years in a row.

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