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Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor

These Are 2020’s Best and Worst States to Raise a Family, Report Says

The best state to raise a family? Minnesota.
PUBLISHED ON 01/21/2020

Raising a family can be challenging on its own, but your surroundings also play a role—including what city and state you choose to raise your family in. Now, a report from WalletHub, a personal finance website, is evaluating the best and worst states to raise a family.

The website released its report earlier this month, finding that Minnesota was the best state to raise a family, as opposed to New Mexico, which was the worst. The report compared each state across 50 indicators of family-friendliness, such as median family salary, housing affordability, unemployment rate and more. The indicators were housed under five key dimensions: family fun, health and safety, education and childcare, affordability and socioeconomics. It then ranked the states based on overall score.

According to the report, Minnesota has the highest median family annual income—adjusted for the cost of living—at $89,217. This number is higher than New York, which ranked lowest in all states at $58,794. New Mexico, on the other hand, had the highest percentage of families living in poverty at 15.1 percent. The lowest for the data set was New Hampshire, ranking first with only 4.7 percent.

While Utah didn’t make the top 10 best states for families, the report did find the state to have the lowest divorce rate (15.89 percent), as opposed to Nevada, which had the highest rate (26.1 percent). Similarly, while Mississippi’s overall score landed it in the top 10 worst states for families, the report found it had the lowest average annual cost of early childcare at 7.08 percent of the median family income. This figure was compared to Nebraska, which had the highest average annual cost of early childcare at 16.42 percent of the median family income. Another key finding shows that, while neither made the top 10 lists, Maine has the fewest violent crimes per capita, as opposed to Alaska, which has the most.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 best and worst states to raise a family, based on their overall scores.

Top 10 Best States to Raise a Family

  1. Minnesota
  2. Massachusetts
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York
  7. New Jersey
  8. Nebraska
  9. Connecticut
  10. Washington

Top 10 Worst States to Raise a Family

  1. New Mexico
  2. Mississippi
  3. Louisiana
  4. West Virginia
  5. Alabama
  6. Arkansas
  7. Oklahoma
  8. South Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Arizona

For more information or a detailed breakdown on how the states were scored, check out the online report.