Are Southern states failing women?

October 2, 2023
1 min read
Woman Wearing White T-shirt and Blue Denim Bottoms

The Gist: A recent city ranking reveals a tough reality: women in the South are facing rougher conditions compared to their Northern counterparts. The study comes from WalletHub, a personal-finance website, which listed the best and worst cities for women to live in, showing that many Southern cities unfortunately landed at the bottom of the list.

The Details: With more women stepping into the workforce, it’s crucial to know which cities offer them the best shot at a good life. WalletHub took a deep dive into 182 cities, checking out things like how much women earn, the quality of hospitals for women, and the general well-being of women in these areas. The results? Cities in the South struggled to make a mark.

By The Numbers:

  • In Huntington, West Virginia, a whopping 32.90 percent of women are living in poverty.
  • Health insurance is a big problem in Brownsville, Texas, where nearly 30 percent of women don’t have it.
  • The 10 worst cities for women are all in the South. The worst city for women is Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Rounding out the remaining list of 10 worst cities for women are:
    • Gulfport, Mississippi
    • Brownsville, Texas
    • Huntington, West Virginia
    • Shreveport, Louisiana
    • Augusta, Georgia
    • Charleston, West Virginia
    • Laredo, Texas
    • Mobile, Alabama
    • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • The one bright spot in the South: Columbia, Maryland is the number one city in the nation for women, though most Southerners don’t think of Maryland as a Southern state. Women there are earning a decent paycheck, with median earnings at $51,526 after adjusting for cost of living.

In Context: This isn’t a one-off scenario. It’s a repeated story where cities in the South often find themselves at the lower end in such rankings. It points to bigger issues like lower pay and fewer opportunities that need addressing.

Why It Matters: These findings are a wake-up call. The gap between the cities where women are thriving versus struggling is wide.This indicates it may be time to focus on how to lift up the places that are falling behind, especially in the South.

What’s Next?: With these rankings out in the open, it’s a chance for communities, business owners, health care providers and lawmakers to step up. Addressing the issues spotlighted in the report could lead to better living conditions and more chances for women to succeed, no matter where they live.

For a full picture and to see where your city stands, check out the complete report.

Don't Miss