Facts About Louisiana Women
The following information shows why there remains a need for a Women’s Commission and why you are invited to join us in making Shreveport a better place for all Shreveport women and youth. The statistics cited below clearly demonstrates the necessity for continued efforts to solve the social ills as they relate to Louisiana women.
Social & Economic Factors
Findings in 2004 included:
- 74.2% of Louisiana women have health insurance, 49th in the nation.
- 18.2% of Louisiana women have four or more years of college, 44th in the nation.
- 18.4% of Louisiana businesses are women-owned, 41st in the nation.
- 82.6% of Louisiana women live above poverty level, 47th in the nation.
- While women’s earnings and wage gap vary substantially from state to state, in every state some wage gap exists. Louisiana ranks 50th among the states in its composite score pulled low by median annual earnings full time, year-round for employed women, its earnings ratio between women and men, and the percent of women in its labor force.
- Women in Louisiana, who work full time, year-round earn on average 66% of Louisiana men’s earnings, more than 10% less than the national average for women nationally. White women’s earnings are 37% higher than African American women’s earnings and approximately 13% higher than Asian and Hispanic women’s earnings.
- The wage gap does not disappear when the educational level of women and men is the same. In fact, it increases slightly. Thus, it is not solely education that accounts for the differences in wages between women and men in Louisiana or elsewhere.
Political participation is an important way for women across the ideological spectrum and of every race and ethnicity to shape the policies that affect their lives. Using data from 1998 and 2000, 74.9% of Louisiana women were registered to vote, sixth among 50 states. Only 51.7% of Louisiana women actually voted during the years referenced, causing the state to tumble to 27th in its rank nationwide.
- Louisiana women are below the U.S. average for women in educational attainment at every level and below the educational attainment level of Louisiana men at the higher educational levels.
- The drop-out rate for Louisiana females in grades 10-12 is lower than for Louisiana males (5.9% vs. 7.6% respectively) yet markedly higher than the drop out rate for females (4.1%) and males (5.5%) nationally.
- Louisiana women continue to pursue fields of study traditionally more open to them, such as education, home economics, and nursing.
- Women remain under represented in nontraditional vocational programs, science and math. In 2003, 88% of the degrees were in construction trades, mechanics and repairers, and production.
The statistical information shown above appeared in the 2004 Annual Report to the Governor prepared by the Louisiana Commission on Women’s Policy and Research, Governor’s Office on Women’s Policy.