A. Demographic Profile

Women in Indiana account for just over one-half of the population (51.0%), are predominantly white (90.16% percent), and are primarily of childbearing age (median age 35.2; 42.74% of women are between 15 and 44 years of age).

Indiana has little racial variation, although the number of people identified as Hispanic (any race) is growing. Most women in Indiana (based on 1999 estimates) are white (90.16%). Blacks comprise 8.59% of the population, and American Indian/Eskimo and Alaskan Natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders make up the rest (1.25%) of the population.

Among the elderly, women comprise 60% (n = 449,034) of the population age 65 and over, whereas men amount to only 40% (n = 303,797) of the population age 65 and over. Because women tend to outlive men, women age 85 and over amount to 1.09% (n = 66,270) of the total population, whereas men amount to only 0.42% (n = 25,288).

It is estimated that about 60% of all women in Indiana age 16 and over are in the labor force. Of the total labor force in Indiana age 16 years and over, females make up 46.22% (n = 1,402,486). In the United States, “labor force participation rates for women with infants reached an all-time high of 59 percent in 1998, almost double the rate of 31 percent in 1976” (Bachu and O’Connell 2000, p. 8). No comparable data are available for Indiana at this time.

Median family income in Indiana is estimated at $48,792, and mean family income is $57,785. Per capita income is $20,010. Median household income, last measured in 1997, is $37,909. Median male earnings for 2000 are estimated at $30,743, whereas median female earnings are estimated at $17,763.

For women 15 years and over, it is estimated that 22.99% (n = 546,721) have never been married, 54.43% (n = 1,294,177) are now married (excluding women who are separated), 1.56% (n = 37,186) are separated, 9.76% (n = 231,998) are widowed, and 11.26% (n = 267,738) are divorced.

Households headed by single women, with no husband present, in 2000 amounted to 11.1% (n = 259,372), which was below the national average of 12.2%. Of families below the poverty level in the last 12 months, it is estimated that in 2000 in Indiana there were 66,683 households headed by women, with no husband present, of which 62,848 included related children under 18 years of age.

Life expectancy in the United States has been increasing steadily since 1900 from 48.3 for women, 46.3 for men, to 79.5 for women and 73.8 for men in 2001. In Indiana in the latter period, women’s life expectancy was 78.62 years compared to 71.99 for men.

The number of incarcerated women in Indiana increased from 681 in 1990 to 1,222 in 1999. Despite this dramatic increase, the incarceration rate in Indiana (measured as the number of female prisoners with sentences of more than one year per 100,000 residents) was only 40 in 1999, compared to 59 nationally.

Self-reported health status is a broad measure of women’s health. Many factors influence women’s well-being, including health, income, education, and family and work status. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women’s general health in Indiana is fair compared to the national average. “Indiana, which ranks 24th of all states, is near the average for most states and the nation as a whole on indicators of women’s health and well-being” (Caiazza 2000, p. 54). Indiana ranked third regionally (compared to Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin). In 2000, 15.6% of women in Indiana reported that their health status was fair or poor (2000 BRFSS, preliminary reporting). Indiana ranks poorly (overall grade of C+ on the Composite Health and Well-Being Index) because of “the difference between women’s actual health status in the state and national goals concerning their health status, including goals set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in its Healthy People 2010 program” (Caiazza 2000, p. 54).