Women have come a long way in New Jersey over the past decade, but additional progress is still in order, according to a new state-by-state analysis.

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In "Status of Women in the States" from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, New Jersey missed the cut to be on the list of the best states for women. However, the state did score quite well on most of the included indicators, which were tracked over the years since 2004.

The Garden State ranked fourth in the nation in the categories of Employment & Earnings, Reproductive Rights and Work & Family. A higher percentage of women have bachelor's degrees, they're more likely to hold managerial or professional occupations, and the gender wage gap has narrowed.

New Jersey, though, fell very short in Political Participation with a "D" grade, ranked 31st among the states. The category involves the percentage of women who are registered to vote, as well as the percentage of women who actually voted, along the representation of females in elected office.

Institute for Women's Policy Research

Despite the category's poor grade, study director Cynthia Hess said New Jersey has made some strides in the field since 2004.

"The percentage of women who voted in New Jersey went up in that 10-year period," Hess said. "The score on women in elected office went up as well."

According to the report, women hold 30 percent of seats in the New Jersey Legislature.

New Jersey, meanwhile, ranked 11th among the states for Poverty & Opportunity and 13th for Health & Well-Being.

Minnesota came in as the best state for women in the U.S. Alabama and Mississippi were dead last.