CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Kentucky isn’t doing great when it comes to women-owned businesses (WOBs), according to U.S. Census data analyzed by Clarify Capital.

Clarify Capital ranked all 50 states based on a combination score of five variables: percentage of women-owned small businesses, women-to-men pay ratios, women unemployment rates, WOBs with $1 million or more in annual revenue, and women-owned companies per 10,000 residents in each state.

According to Clarify Capital, U.S. Census data from 2020 shows that West Virginia is the worst state for women’s unemployment and WOBs per 10,000 residents. The state with the lowest women’s unemployment rate is Minnesota, and the best state for WOBs per 10,000 residents is Colorado, according to the study.

The women’s unemployment ranks for West Virginia’s neighboring states go as follows: Maryland (#17), Pennsylvania (#20), Virginia (#23), Ohio (#24) and Kentucky (#38). For the category of WOBs per 10,000 residents, those neighboring states’ ranks are: Virginia (#15), Maryland (#19), Pennsylvania (#40), Ohio (#44) and Kentucky (#46).

Another reason West Virginia ranks #50 on the study’s list is because the percentage of WOBs in the state is going down. According to Clarify Capital, the number of WOBs in the Mountain State went down by 16.24% from 2002 to 2020.

The best state for WOB percentage growth is Nevada with an 83.22% increase. All of West Virginia’s neighboring states also had positive growth rates for WOBs: Kentucky (+13%), Maryland (+31.4%), Ohio (+3.87%), Pennsylvania (+16.41%) and Virginia (+46.8%).

Below is a full chart of ranking in each category for West Virginia and its neighboring states.

StateOverall RankTotal Score% of Female-Owned Small Businesses RankWomen-to-Men Pay Ratios RankFemale Unemployment Rates RankWOBs with $1M+ in Annual Revenue RankWOBs per 10k Residents in each State Rank
Maryland1268.38158171419
Virginia1368.39 16 1723915
Pennsylvania3063.76503220740
Ohio3660.963943241244
Kentucky4654.254438382846
West Virginia5047.723041504750
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (analyzed by Clarify Capital)

To view Clarify Capital’s full report on state rankings for WOBs, click here.

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