Northeastern states are among the best for families, while Southern states have room for improvement, according to a new report.
American families largely moved West and South in 2020, to states like Idaho and South Carolina, according to United Van Lines data. But a new report by personal finance site WalletHub suggests that six of the 10 best states for families are in the Northeast.
The report compared all 50 states across five dimensions: family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability and socioeconomics using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI and TransUnion, among other sources. Making up those dimensions were 52 indicators related to family well-being, from public-school quality to job opportunities to COVID-19 weekly death rate.
Massachusetts is the best state to raise a family, according to the report, and ranked highly in public school quality, parental leave, children's hospitals per capita and low infant mortality. On the other side of the list, of the 10 worst states to raise a family, seven are in the South. New Mexico is the lowest-ranking state, ranking last in education and child care, and among the bottom states in median family income, most violent crimes per capita, highest separation and divorce rate and highest percentage of families in poverty.
"When choosing a home, most families will prioritize places that have a reasonable cost of living, low crime rates, access to affordable high-quality child care, and an effective public school system," says Patricia Crawford, professor of early childhood education at the University of Pittsburgh. "Families should also consider the availability, quality, and affordability of community resources such as libraries, museums, cultural centers, and green spaces."
Here are the 10 best states to raise a family, according to WalletHub:
1. Massachusetts 2. Minnesota 3. North Dakota 4. New York 5. Vermont 6. New Hampshire 7. New Jersey 8. Washington 9. Connecticut 10. Utah
Here are the 10 worst states to raise a family, according to WalletHub:
41. Nevada 42. Arizona 43. South Carolina 44. Alabama 45. Arkansas 46. Oklahoma 47. Louisiana 48. West Virginia 49. Mississippi 50. New Mexico