The top 10 states to raise a baby

Personal Finance

Raising a baby doesn’t come cheap — and once you add in expenses like doctor appointments and day care, the costs of child-rearing may be more manageable in certain states than others.

New data from WalletHub found that some states have better financial conditions for bringing up baby. The personal finance site ranked U.S. states on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing optimal conditions.

To crunch these numbers, WalletHub analyzed 20 different lifestyle factors grouped into four categories: cost, health care, baby friendliness and family friendliness. Baby friendliness included items such as parental leave policies and
child care centers
per capita. Family friendliness stemmed from the site’s previous “Best and Worst States to Raise a Family” survey, which looked at elements like school quality and housing affordability.

For some perks,
where you work
may be as important as where you live. Only 15 percent of employers
offered paid leave
in 2016, according to the National Study of Employers. This includes 19 percent of large companies (more than 1,000 employees), and 14 percent of small companies (50 to 99 employees).

The future doesn’t look much brighter. Only 33 percent of employers would like to offer paid family leave in 2018, just 1 percentage point above the current percentage, according to a survey by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and The Standard.

Based on the WalletHub’s findings, here are the top 10 states to raise a child:

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