While data have become more available in recent years, there are major gaps. Here we highlight some of the largest blind spots and the need for better data.
The Importance of Collecting More Gender Data
Recent, high-quality data are essential to understand the current status of women and to inform policy.
Old and incomplete data on intimate partner violence
The most recent state-level data on intimate partner violence are almost a decade old, collected between 2010 and 2012. Even then, intimate partner violence rates for 17 states are missing. Moreover, data are not available by race/ethnicity.
Sparse racial data across several indicators
Available data are shown in statistical table 4 of the US Index report, but there are many gaps. For example, maternal mortality rates are missing in 47 states for Native American women, in 43 states for Asian women, in 34 states for Hispanic women, and in 22 states for Black women. We know that nationally women of color are at a higher risk of maternal mortality—Black and Native American women are two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women. Data for Asian American and Native American women are sparse for all indicators. In some cases, data are missing and in others the sample sizes at the state level are too small to be statistically reliable.
For example, data have not been collected on the share of women in each state with access to a shelter, a key indication of women’s security and ability to leave an abusive relationship. State-level data on women’s earnings are also lacking, and measures of financial inclusion are limited to the household level, so we do not know the share of women with access to their own bank account, an important measure of agency.