DID YOU KNOW | What the Data Tell Us

Below is a sampling of data from the Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota, a collaborative research project of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the University of MN Humphrey School’s Center on Women, Gender & Public Policy. For this project, data specific to Minnesota women and girls is gathered and analyzed in economics, safety, health, and leadership.

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Economic Opportunity for Women Creates Economic Security for All

  • The data reveal that the greatest barriers to economic security are poverty, the wage gap, and occupational clustering.
  • Minnesota’s female-headed households are more likely than other family configurations to be in poverty. Since 2000, there has been a 64 percent increase in the number of families with children below the poverty line. This is important, because working mothers in Minnesota are increasingly the primary breadwinners in their families.
  • Regardless of education, age, or race and ethnicity, the wage gap continues to prevent Minnesota women and their families from receiving their fair share. All full-time working women earn less than white men. White, Asian American, African American, American Indian and Latina women earn $0.80, $0.74, $0.62, $0.62 and $0.57 on the dollar, respectively, compared to white men. Women with disabilities and women who have lived in the U.S. six-10 years earn $0.61 and $0.58 on the dollar, respectively, compared to white men.
  • Occupational clustering also contributes to the wage gap, threatens women’s economic security and stability, and compromises the productivity of Minnesota’s economy. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Minnesota’s white men work in sales, office and service compared to 63 percent of African American, 62 percent of American Indian and 57 percent of Latina women.


  • Approximately one in four 9th grade girls reported being touched, grabbed or pinched in a sexual way and a third reported “unwanted sexual comments, jokes and gestures.”
  • Fifty to 60% of Minnesota lesbian/bisexual girls that are bullied report a suicide attempt.
  • Twelve percent (12%) of all 12th grade girls cite a date-related sexual assault on the Minnesota Student Survey.
  • By age 23 (average), nearly one in four of Minnesota’s female college students have been sexually assaulted.


  • Native American women in Minnesota are two times more likely to die from cancer than Native American women nationally.
  • For Minnesota’s Native American and Asian teens, the birth rate is almost double the national average.
  • Almost twice as many Minnesota girls report suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide as boys.
  • Fifty-eight percent (58%) of African American girls and 63% of Asian girls who reported a mental or emotional problem lasting a year or more had not received treatment.


  • More than 50% of Minnesota’s county commissions do not include a single woman.
  • None of Minnesota’s 21 Fortune 500 companies are led by a woman, and women hold just 14.3% of most corporate board seats.
  • Since 2004, only 37% of Minnesota’s school board members have been women.
  • Only 22% of mayoral, 26% of city council and 17% of county commission candidates in 2010 were women.