More than six months after a personal-finance website’s study found Utah to be dead last in women’s equality, another study by the same website finds Utah women near the middle nationwide for quality of life.
The study, titled “2019’s Best & Worst States for Women” by the website Wallethub, ranks Utah 29th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of living standards for women. Minnesota listed at the top, while Louisiana ranked last.
Two of the factors in the new study — friendliness toward women’s equality, where Utah was 50th out of 50, and friendliness toward working moms, where Utah placed 28th nationally — are taken directly from the earlier study Wallethub issued in August.
Utah came in 50th in another metric in the new study, median earnings for female workers, at $24,470 a year. Utah ranked 48th in the share of women-owned businesses, at just under 15 percent.
In other areas, Utah women fared much better. The state’s women ranked third nationwide in job security, fourth in the quality of women’s hospitals, fourth in the share of women who are physically active, fifth-lowest in the share of women who are obese, sixth in the share of women in good health, ninth in the “economic clout” of women-owned firms, and 12th in terms of “baby-friendliness.”
Utah women ranked more in the middle for the prevalence of being subjected to stalking (17th), homicide rate (19th), life expectancy at birth (20th), and the female unemployment rate (24th).
Though the criteria for this new study often are different than the ones used in August, the Women’s Leadership Institute, a Utah nonprofit tied to the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, cheered the improved ranking.
“Clearly, there is an uptick in interest in elevating women,” Pat Jones, the institute’s CEO, said in a statement.
Jones touted the institute’s ElevateHER Challenge, which aims to improve women’s status in business and politics. “It’s working. And it’s changing the external perceptions of Utah as not only a great state, but a great state for women,” Jones said.