Gender of U.S. and Canadian Governors and Premiers

I know the blog has had a lot of maps lately, like here, here and here, but I think this will be my last one for a while. I actually made this map several months ago but never put it on the blog until now, after doing a great deal of aesthetic work on it recently. The map is pretty simple: it shows whether the governor or premier of each state, province and territory in the U.S. and Canada is a man or a woman. Let's take a look!

Click on the image to enlarge it.
As you can see, women are very outnumbered when it comes to being state/provincial executives - especially in the United States. In Canada there are four women premiers out of thirteen provinces and territories - a rate of about 30%. In the U.S., there are just 6 women governors out of fifty states - a rate of 12%. Additionally, Canada has a pretty good diversity among its female-led provinces and territory, including the third most-populated province (BC) as well as the least populated territory and largest by area (Nunavut). Meanwhile, the U.S. has a very strange situation for the moment: All of the states with female governors, except for Washington, are south of 37° north latitude.

A few months ago I also dealt with gender and politics in the United States through the creation of a map - that one on the lack of women in state legislatures. However, as far from gender parity as state legislatures may be, the nationwide percentage of female state legislators is 24% - fully twice as good (or half as bad) as the percentage of female governors. Looking at the map, it's obvious that female governors don't just get elected in only red states or only blue states: Washington and New Mexico are relatively liberal, while the other four are relatively conservative. Clearly, the lack of gender equity in American politics is a nationwide issue, and although it varies from state to state, it's bad just about everywhere.

If you compare this map with the map of female legislators linked to above, you'll see no correlation whatsoever between states with high rates of women legislators and states with female governors. Arizona has one of the highest percentages of female lawmakers while South Carolina has the lowest, but both have female governors. Although very interesting, it's actually a little iffy to draw any concrete conclusions from this map. After all, governors and premiers are only single positions, and statistics generally need large sample sizes in order to be relevant. Are you from a state or province with a female executive? Do you think it makes any difference? I don't think Sarah Palin's gender mattered much in terms of her (lack of) ability to help Alaskans. Her successor Sean Parnell, however, is probably even worse for the state than Palin was, so perhaps there's something to it after all.

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