The best and worst states to have a baby
There are many factors to consider when choosing a place to live, such as job opportunities, cost of living, and local politics. But people who are considering starting a family have a whole different set of details to think about, many of which are covered in a new study by WalletHub. The analysis weighed 31 measurements across three categories in each of the 50 states and Washington, DC, to determine the best and worst places in the United States to have a baby.
In the first category, medical expenses, child care, health care premiums, child care and other expenses were compared and ranked. Next, healthcare was examined using data on hospitals, healthcare professionals, fertility clinics, Covid-19 test rates, infant mortality, low birth weight and premature births, childhood immunizations and more. The final category was baby and family friendliness, which weighed birth rates, parental leave policies, and the number of mothers and child care groups per capita, among other data.
Among the results: Those worried about finding a pediatrician or family doctor once the baby arrives might avoid Louisiana, with the least per capita, and consider Vermont, with the most. Vermont may also be of interest to working parents, as are Montana, Tennessee, and Colorado, all tied for the most child care centers per capita. Utah had the least.
Digging deeper, we find that a good score in a metric was not enough to push a state to the top of the list. Mississippi, for example, had the lowest annual child care costs, while Washington, DC, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California were tied for the highest. Despite this, Washington, DC, Massachusetts and Connecticut landed in the top 10 for best places overall, while Mississippi finished last.