These Are the Top 10 Best and Worst States to Have a Baby in 2020

The best state? Massachusetts.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Aug 2020
mom hugging her toddler son in yard in front of their house
Photo: Getty Images

While having a baby can always be a joyous and stressful time, this year has been more stressful than others. The pandemic has infiltrated all parts of life in 2020—including childbirth and the postpartum period. New moms may have less support from family and friends during and after birth due to new social distancing regulations.

Plus, families still have to deal with stressors like medical bills, quality of healthcare services and the best environment for kids right now. According to WalletHub’s 2020 list, not all states are equal in this regard and some are better than others to have a baby.

To figure out the most ideal places to have a baby, WalletHub compared the 50 states and D.C. across 32 key measures of cost, healthcare access, baby- and family-friendliness. So, the top state to have a baby in 2020? Massachusetts. Below, the top 10 best and worst states to have a baby.

Best States to Have a Baby

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Minnesota
  3. Vermont
  4. North Dakota
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Hampshire
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Maine
  9. Washington
  10. Connecticut

Worst States to Have a Baby

  1. Nevada
  2. Oklahoma
  3. North Carolina
  4. Florida
  5. Arkansas
  6. Georgia
  7. Louisiana
  8. Mississippi
  9. South Carolina
  10. Alabama

Why did these states fall where they did? Several factors related to four key measures: cost, health care, baby-friendliness and family-friendliness. Each of these categories were evaluated on different metrics that were rated on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the best conditions.

Historically, Vermont has taken the top spot in 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. This year’s survey found Massachusetts has the highest parental leave policy score (160), while nine states, including Alabama, Michigan and South Dakota, tied for lowest with a score of 0. Meanwhile, D.C. had the most obstetricians and gynecologists (per 100,000 residents) 26, which is 13 times more than in Louisiana, which had the fewest at 2. Alaska had the lowest share of children born with low birth weight, at 5.85 percent, while Mississippi had the highest rate at 12.12 percent. Mississippi, however, did have the lowest average annual cost for early child care at $4,060, which is 3.9 times lower than in the District of Columbia, which is the highest at $15,860.

Of course, there are several aspects that go into raising a child—and where you live is just one of them. One of the best things you can do to help prepare for baby’s arrival is make a budgeting plan to follow.

To view the full survey, visit

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