Trying to juggle a career and kids isn’t easy—but it’s even harder in some states, according to a new WalletHub study. On Tuesday, the personal finance website published a map that ranks each state from best to worst for working mothers.
To determine the rankings, researchers analyzed all 50 states based on 16 key metrics (like daycare quality, gender pay gap, and parental leave policy) in three different categories: child care, professional opportunities, and work-life balance.
According to the study, the best state for working moms is Massachusetts, which also ranked number one in the country in both the child care and work-life balance categories. One factor likely contributing to Massachusetts’ high ranking is the fact that it’s one of just a handful of states with paid family leave policies in the works.
Massachusetts is followed by four other East Coast states to round out the top five: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.
On the other end of the spectrum, Louisiana came in last due to it having one of the highest gender pay gaps and one of the worst daycare systems in the country. The southern state is joined by Alabama, South Carolina, Idaho, and Mississippi at the bottom.
Regardless of where a state falls, many experts believe that organizations and even the government can do better at providing family-friendly policies and regulations like paid leave. “We continually preach that people are our most valuable workplace assets,” Marick Masters, Director of the Fraser Center at Wayne State University, told WalletHub. “Working mothers certainly would fall into that category. It is time to treat the assets with the care they deserve and make appropriate investments in their development. The rewards will be reaped in greater engagement and productivity.”
For the full list of rankings, visit WalletHub’s website here.