The place with the best salaries, health care, and business opportunities for women may surprise you.

By Marisa Cohen
Updated March 05, 2018
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The capital of female empowerment in America is not necessarily where you first might think: Yes, the women of California have sparked a nationwide movement fighting sexual harassment in the workplace with #MeToo and #TimesUp, and New York and DC have their share of powerhouse female politicians and CEOs, but according to one new study, the state where women have the best quality of life and most opportunities for moving up in the world is—Minnesota!

We have to say, we're not entirely surprised: After all, Minnesota is the land where Mary Richards broke through gender barriers as a smart and savvy TV producer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, at a time when most women on TV were housewives and moms. It's also one of only four U.S. states in which both U.S. senators are women (Democrats Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar). And now, according to a new study by WalletHub, which crunched the numbers about jobs, health, education, and other important factors, Minnesota wins the crown as the best state for women to live in, followed by Massachusetts, Vermont, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, Hawaii (thank heavens for one warm-weather option!), Connecticut, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

According to the same study, the worst states for women are all located in the southern part of the U.S.: Louisiana came dead last, with Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama rounding out the bottom 5.

The site looked at 23 different stats that directly affect the quality of life for women, including: highest median earnings for female workers (Washington, DC, scored highest); lowest unemployment rate for women (this was a five-way tie among New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont); highest life expectancy for women (Hawaii), highest high school graduation rate for women (Nebraska and Wisconsin tied); and largest percent of women-owned businesses (Alaska).

When the numbers were tallied up, Minnesota came out tops for economic and social well-being and the overall score, with Hawaii rising to the top for health and safety, So if you're looking for for a new start in a state where you have the greatest chance of success, no matter your gender, grab your Vikings hat and down coat, and check out the North Star State.