The State of Girls is a series of first-of-its-kind reports by the Girl Scout Research Institute that examine girls’ health and well-being in the United States. These reports are based on current national statistical indicators focused on key issues such as health, safety, and educational achievement of girls, as well as demographic trends.
In 2013, the national report, The State of Girls: Unfinished Business was released, finding that while progress has been made for girls in some areas such as educational attainment, many girls are being left behind. Particularly, African American and Hispanic girls face significant challenges in making successful transitions into adulthood.
This current report, The State of Girls: Thriving or Surviving examines girls’ well-being across each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state is ranked based on a state index of girls’ well-being, which considers five indicators of girls’ well-being: Physical Health and Safety, Economic Well-Being, Education, Emotional Health, Extracurricular and Out-of-School Activities.
This report, which examines state-level data on girls’ well-being, finds that where girls live matters. Geographically, there are some clear differences in girls’ well-being between the north and the south of the United States.
Girls living in the mid-west, northeast, and mid-Atlantic are faring the best overall in the country. Girls generally fare better in the northern states compared with southern states, which rank the lowest in girls’ well-being. However, we know that “data is not destiny,” and as the premier leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts is committed to ensuring that all girls develop to their full potential. This fact sheet highlights key areas of challenge and opportunity for girls in the U.S., as well as solutions for better supporting girls based on contributions off the Girl Scout Movement.