Vermont ranks 6th in nation for women

By Cynthia Prairie

Vermont is the sixth best state in the nation for women to live in, according to a new poll by, an online community for women. Vermont’s neighbor to the west, New York, came in 7th, and its neighbor to the east, New Hampshire was listed as 10th.
The No. 1 spot went to Connecticut, followed by Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and California. Minnesota (8) and Washington (9) round out the Top 10, which means that 7 of the Top 10 states are in northern climes. conducted the study over three months using these criteria: health and wellness, economic well-being, what helps and hinders working moms, the number of women in elected office, reproductive rights and education. Here’s an explanation of the researchers’ methodology.

The report says, “Vermont women are health nuts. They take care of themselves by eating well, working out regularly and getting their Pap smears and mammograms.”

iVillage reports that Vermont women lead the nation when it comes to eating well – more than one-third say they eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. And, with 46% keeping their weight in check, Vermont women lead the national average of 40% when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. That is still behind 27th-ranked Nevada with 49%.

iVillage also noted that 92% of Vermont women report having health insurance. And the researchers praise the state for having a constitutionally mandated right to choose abortion, which is supported by state laws that provide lower income women with access and “guaranteed over-the-counter access to emergency contraception.”

Politically, Vermont is also second in the nation when it comes to women represented in the State House, with 38% of the seats filled by women. And Vermont is the only state to re-elect a woman – Madeleine Kunin – to serve three terms as governor. Of course, Vermont’s gubernatorial terms are two years.
Nationally, the picture is not so rosy. Vermont is among four states that have “never sent a woman to Congress.” The others: Delaware (17), Iowa (28) and Mississippi (50).

To begin reading the whole report click here.


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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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