Real Estate

Which Are the Best States for Raising a Family?

With remote work on the rise, prospective parents have more flexibility to choose the best places to raise their families. With that in mind, they might want to read a new study by WalletHub, which considers a range of factors to find which U.S. states are best (and worst) for raising children.

The states were scored using 51 weighted metrics across five categories. Metrics used to score the Health and Safety category included the availability and quality of medical care and providers, crime rate, road safety and infant mortality. Education and Child Care points were based on local school quality and graduation rates, child-care costs and availability, and parental leave policies, among others. The Affordability category considered housing costs, credit scores, income and other financial data. The Socioeconomics score was based on rates of unemployment, marriage, divorce, poverty, foreclosure and more. Finally, the Family Fun category gauged each state on things like the share of families with young children and the availability of attractions and recreation centers.

Massachusetts once again topped the chart, helped by a second-place score in Education and Child Care, and a high Health and Safety score. North Dakota placed fourth, up from ninth last year, with the top scores in Socioeconomics and Education and Child Care.

Mississippi, which scored poorly in Socioeconomics and Health and Safety, repeated its last-place finish, while New Mexico followed with low scores in all categories. West Virginia finished 48th, dropping from 45th last year.

This week’s chart shows the 10 highest-scoring and 10 lowest-scoring states, along with the categories that most helped or hurt their rankings.

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