You might not pick up and move somewhere for the sole purpose of a state's baby-friendliness, but it's no secret that location is a pretty important part of family-planning.
Personal finance website WalletHub has set out to find the most ideal places in the U.S. to have a baby, based on factors such as health care accessibility, birthing costs, baby-friendliness, and family-friendliness. After evaluating all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on those dimensions (using info from places such as the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics), researchers gave each state scores on a 100-point scale and ranked them all based on their average amount of points.
As it turned out, Vermont took first place for the overall best place to have a baby, followed by Minnesota, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and North Dakota. Meanwhile, Mississippi came in last place, preceded by Louisiana, Nevada, West Virginia, and Alabama. (A reminder that restricting women's healthcare can make it harder to choose to have a baby, too.)
In terms of more specific costs, however, Mississippi was found to have the lowest average annual infant-care costs, while North Dakota had the lowest average hospital conventional-delivery charges.
Of course, having a child isn't just about the money (though that factors heavily into it) — WalletHub's researchers found that D.C. had the most pediatricians and family doctors per capita, and tied with Vermont for the most midwives and OB-GYNS per capita.
Given that childcare situations vary greatly even from one person to another, it's hard to say that these statistics apply directly to the average person. But in any case, it's interesting to see which states may be a little more baby-friendly than others.
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