By all accounts, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating on two fronts - medically and financially.

And when you look deeper into the financial fallout from the pandemic, women across America have been hit especially hard.

A Forbes magazine report in early January 2021 quotes a National Women's Law Center study that showed that of the 140,000 net jobs lost in the country in December 2020, women actually accounted for 156,000 of those (110%), while men gained 16,000 jobs during that same time.

That's just one of the many challenges facing women in America today.

To see where are thriving or struggling across the country, WalletHub has crunched data from a number of different sources, using 26 different factors to rank places in pair of key categories:

  • Economic & Social Well-Being - earnings, job security, graduation rates, etc.
  • Women’s Health Care & Safety - COVID-19 infection rates, access to affordable health care, quality of local hospitals, obesity rates, depression & suicide rates, etc.
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Overall, South Dakota ranked a very respectable tenth overall - tenth in the economic and social category, 21st in health and safety.


  1. Minnesota
  2. Maine
  3. Vermont
  4. North Dakota
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Iowa
  7. Washington
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Wisconsin
  10. South Dakota

Some of the state's most notable highs and lows in the rankings:

South Dakota has the second-lowest female homicide rate (per 100,000) in America and is tied for fourth (Wyoming) with the lowest unemployment rate for women.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Mount Rushmore State is last in the United States in the percentage of female-owned businesses.

As for the worst places for women, Mississippi tops the list after bottom five rankings in life expectancy rates, high school graduation rates, and the percentage of women living in poverty.


  1. Mississippi
  2. Alabama
  3. Arkansas
  4. Louisiana
  5. Oklahoma
  6. South Carolina
  7. Texas
  8. Nevada
  9. West Virginia
  10. New Mexico

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

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