Special Report

This Is the Worst State to Raise a Family

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Adults consider many factors when they consider the best place to raise a family. Some involve education or recreational facilities. Still others consider crime and other matters of safety or climate. Whether relatives are close by is another factor considered. This cuts two ways, however. Not everyone has a good relationship with parents, siblings, and the like. (If there’s a chance that you’d like to move abroad, these are the least expensive countries to raise a family.)

24/7 Tempo has developed a list of the worst states in which to raise a family, using data compiled by the credit reporting and advice site WalletHub. The site compared states across five key dimensions: family fun, health and safety, education and childcare, affordability, and socio-economics. From this list, we picked the worst one based on those measures. And it’s New Mexico. Mississippi came right behind it. Both scored particularly badly when it comes to socio-economics. (See how many children live in poverty in your state.)

Click here to see the best and worst states to raise a family

In making their calculations, WalletHub evaluated their five dimensions using 52 variously weighted metrics, including share of families with young children, pediatricians per capita, quality of public schools, housing affordability, job opportunities and security, and separation and divorce rate. Data on the total number of families in each state comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey one-year estimates.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

1. Massachusetts
> WalletHub score: 60.88
> Top metric: ‘Education & Child Care’ (#3 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,665,005 — #16 highest

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2. Minnesota
> WalletHub score: 60.57
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#5 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,401,623 — #22 highest

Source: rruntsch / Getty Images

3. North Dakota
> WalletHub score: 60.10
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#1 best in the nation)
> Families: 189,509 — #47 highest

Source: FilippoBacci / Getty Images

4. New York
> WalletHub score: 59.80
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#2 best in the nation)
> Families: 4,636,356 — #4 highest

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

5. Vermont
> WalletHub score: 59.16
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#1 best in the nation)
> Families: 156,153 — #49 highest

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

6. New Hampshire
> WalletHub score: 58.85
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#3 best in the nation)
> Families: 346,413 — #40 highest

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7. New Jersey
> WalletHub score: 58.76
> Top metric: ‘Education & Child Care’ (#1 best in the nation)
> Families: 2,241,555 — #11 highest

Source: aiisha5 / iStock via Getty Images

8. Washington
> WalletHub score: 58.46
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#4 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,882,896 — #13 highest

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

9. Connecticut
> WalletHub score: 55.86
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#2 best in the nation)
> Families: 885,911 — #29 highest

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10. Utah
> WalletHub score: 55.48
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#2 best in the nation)
> Families: 760,968 — #31 highest

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

11. Nebraska
> WalletHub score: 55.47
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#9 best in the nation)
> Families: 493,013 — #37 highest

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12. Iowa
> WalletHub score: 55.37
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#8 best in the nation)
> Families: 808,802 — #30 highest

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13. South Dakota
> WalletHub score: 55.17
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#7 best in the nation)
> Families: 223,964 — #46 highest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

14. Wisconsin
> WalletHub score: 54.44
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#14 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,470,116 — #19 highest

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15. Colorado
> WalletHub score: 53.41
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#7 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,421,844 — #21 highest

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16. Illinois
> WalletHub score: 53.13
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#3 best in the nation)
> Families: 3,059,067 — #6 highest

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17. Virginia
> WalletHub score: 51.75
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#13 best in the nation)
> Families: 2,094,763 — #12 highest

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

18. Maine
> WalletHub score: 51.72
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#4 best in the nation)
> Families: 342,894 — #41 highest

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19. Montana
> WalletHub score: 51.61
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#6 best in the nation)
> Families: 269,009 — #43 highest

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20. Hawaii
> WalletHub score: 51.37
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#2 best in the nation)
> Families: 316,206 — #42 highest

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21. Oregon
> WalletHub score: 51.12
> Top metric: ‘Health & Safety’ (#6 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,021,588 — #27 highest

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22. Maryland
> WalletHub score: 50.36
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#12 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,462,070 — #20 highest

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23. Pennsylvania
> WalletHub score: 49.94
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#7 best in the nation)
> Families: 3,228,224 — #5 highest

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

24. Rhode Island
> WalletHub score: 49.78
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#3 best in the nation)
> Families: 249,987 — #44 highest

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25. California
> WalletHub score: 49.57
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#1 best in the nation)
> Families: 8,972,643 — #1 highest

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26. Wyoming
> WalletHub score: 49.08
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#13 best in the nation)
> Families: 152,859 — #50 highest

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27. Missouri
> WalletHub score: 48.86
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#17 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,546,045 — #18 highest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

28. Texas
> WalletHub score: 46.91
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#5 best in the nation)
> Families: 6,857,641 — #2 highest

Source: RudyBalasko / Getty Images

29. Kansas
> WalletHub score: 46.43
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#11 best in the nation)
> Families: 733,489 — #33 highest

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30. Ohio
> WalletHub score: 45.71
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#13 best in the nation)
> Families: 2,942,581 — #7 highest

Source: RudyBalasko / Getty Images

31. Michigan
> WalletHub score: 45.23
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#8 best in the nation)
> Families: 2,496,550 — #10 highest

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32. Delaware
> WalletHub score: 45.17
> Top metric: ‘Education & Child Care’ (#20 best in the nation)
> Families: 242,584 — #45 highest

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33. Alaska
> WalletHub score: 44.86
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#17 best in the nation)
> Families: 163,134 — #48 highest

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34. Idaho
> WalletHub score: 44.53
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#9 best in the nation)
> Families: 448,979 — #39 highest

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35. Indiana
> WalletHub score: 44.23
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#9 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,639,230 — #17 highest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

36. Florida
> WalletHub score: 43.33
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#6 best in the nation)
> Families: 5,083,272 — #3 highest

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37. Kentucky
> WalletHub score: 43.17
> Top metric: ‘Education & Child Care’ (#22 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,129,276 — #25 highest

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38. North Carolina
> WalletHub score: 42.69
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#25 best in the nation)
> Families: 2,630,365 — #8 highest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

39. Tennessee
> WalletHub score: 41.05
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#20 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,727,895 — #15 highest

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

40. Georgia
> WalletHub score: 39.90
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#26 best in the nation)
> Families: 2,555,440 — #9 highest

Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

41. Nevada
> WalletHub score: 38.52
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#4 best in the nation)
> Families: 723,755 — #34 highest

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42. Arizona
> WalletHub score: 38.22
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#12 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,740,704 — #14 highest

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

43. South Carolina
> WalletHub score: 37.97
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#27 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,286,326 — #23 highest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

44. Alabama
> WalletHub score: 36.33
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#25 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,237,883 — #24 highest

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

45. Arkansas
> WalletHub score: 34.83
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#33 best in the nation)
> Families: 755,305 — #32 highest

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

46. Oklahoma
> WalletHub score: 34.49
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#37 best in the nation)
> Families: 975,754 — #28 highest

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47. Louisiana
> WalletHub score: 33.83
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#19 best in the nation)
> Families: 1,113,831 — #26 highest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

48. West Virginia
> WalletHub score: 33.83
> Top metric: ‘Socio-economics’ (#29 best in the nation)
> Families: 470,472 — #38 highest

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49. Mississippi
> WalletHub score: 29.70
> Top metric: ‘Affordability’ (#35 best in the nation)
> Families: 718,382 — #35 highest

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50. New Mexico
> WalletHub score: 28.95
> Top metric: ‘Family Fun’ (#38 best in the nation)
> Families: 496,961 — #36 highest

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