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Women and Poverty, State by State

More than one in seven women, nearly 17.8 million, lived in poverty last year. Poverty rates were particularly high for families headed by single mothers – more than four in ten (40.9 percent) were poor. More than half (56.1 percent) of poor children lived in female-headed families in 2012.

With women as primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of families today, women and their families simply cannot afford to make do with less.

Click on a state below to see how many female-headed families are living in poverty, plus:

  • The share of all women living in poverty
  • The share of Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women living in poverty
  • The share of children and of women 65 and older living in poverty

You can also download the data for every state, and see more of NWLC's analyses of the latest data on women and poverty.



National poverty rates calculated by NWLC based on 2013 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

State poverty rates calculated by NWLC based on 2012 American Community Survey.


Dashes indicate unavailable data. Data are given for women ages 18 and over. Female-headed families are families with female householders, no husband present and related children under 18.

CaliforniaWashington Rhode Island Delaware Maine New Hampshire Vermont Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland West Virigina Virginia Ohio Indiana Kentucky North Carolina Tennessee South Carolina Florida Georgia Alabama Mississippi Illinois Michigan Wisconsin Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Iowa Minnesota Texas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Utah New Mexico Arizona Nevada California Washington Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Washington DC