It’s no secret that America’s healthcare system is…lacking. If you’ve given birth here, you also know that the medical bills involved with hospital birth are astronomical at best. And, of course, the bills don’t stop once you bring your baby home; health care, insurance, and other costs can turn raising a child into a massive financial burden. In order to determine the best places in the U.S. to have a baby, WalletHub ranked the 50 states across 30 key factors including cost, health care accessibility, as well as baby and family-friendliness.
Of course, costs will vary depending on each individual family, especially if there are pregnancy or birth complications. But the findings from WalletHub evaluate each states’ ability to provide quality health care services as well as a proper environment to raise a child. The state that comes out on top? Vermont, with 68.03 percent. Massachusetts follows closely with 67.50, and North Dakota (65.77), Rhode Island (64.9), and Minnesota (64.64)round out the top five.
WalletHub also breaks down factors like delivery charges, infant care costs, and infant mortality rate, and child-care centers per capita. Though Vermont ranked highest overall, other states ranked higher in these categories. For example, Mississippi came in last place overall, but has the lowest average annual infant care costs.
Essentially, every state has its pros and cons, all of which are subject to change as the economy changes. This map is really just reinforcing a fact we all already know: parenting is absurdly expensive no matter where you live. Sigh.