Women’s rights study finds N.J. near top in some ways, near bottom in others and middle of pack overall

New Jersey companies certainly seem to place an emphasis on diverse and inclusive hiring practices and working to close the gender income gap.

But statistics continue to show there is much more work to be done.

Security.org released a study on the Best and Worst States for Women’s Rights on Thursday, using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau across four key categories: economic freedom, education, health and reproductive freedom, and political participation.

To examine where women’s rights are strongest in the U.S., Security.org reviewed the income and education levels, employment and business ownership rates, reproductive rights, maternal mortality rates, overall lifespans and the voting and political representation of women in each state.

New Jersey ranked 23rd in the country overall, with Washington, D.C., Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Iowa performing best and Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, Texas and Oklahoma performing worst.

So where did New Jersey miss its mark? The state ranked 39th in economic freedom (based on employment and business ownership rates, as well as income levels) and 35th in political participation (including voter turnout and the number of women in Congress and at the state level).

Odd, considering New Jersey ranked ninth in education (based on the number of women who hold high school diplomas or higher).

And, although New Jersey also ranked No. 1 for health and reproductive freedom (based on the lifespans of women and restrictions on abortion rights), it ranked 49th in maternal mortality rates.

For the complete report, click here.