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Best States To Raise A Family 2021

Sometimes settling down to raise a family in a healthy, stable environment requires moving to a new state. Every state has its pros and cons and sometimes requires a trade-off in wants and needs. For example, some states may have lower income taxes or costs of living, but not so great education systems, while other states may have the opposite. However, these trade-offs can be mitigated by knowing which U.S. states have the best combinations of qualities ideal for raising a family.

There isn't a universal way to determine which states are the best for raising a family. After all, you could probably find people from all 50 states that would tout the benefits of raising a family within their own states. However, WalletHub published a study looking at several factors determining which states are better to raise a family.

WalletHub compared all 50 states across 52 key indicators of family-friendliness. Each indicator is placed into one of five categories:

  • Family Fun
  • Health & Safety
  • Education & Child Care
  • Affordability
  • Socio-economics

Every state is scored from zero to 100 based on each indicator.

Best States to Raise a Family

1. Massachusetts

According to WalletHub's study, Massachusetts is the best state to raise a family. Massachusetts received a score of 60.88, ranking third for Education & Child Care and sixth for Affordability. Massachusetts residents have the second-highest educational attainment levels in the U.S., just behind D.C., and have access to some of the best school systems. Additionally, Massachusetts also has the fourth-lowest infant mortality rate.

2. Minnesota

Minnesota is the country's second-best state to raise a family. Minnesota ranks fifth for Health & Safety and Socio-economics. Minnesota has the second-lowest share of families in poverty and the highest median family income of $93,584. Minnesota also has the fifth-lowest separation and divorce rate in the U.S.

3. North Dakota

Coming in at third is North Dakota, which ranks second for Education & Child Care and first for Socio-Economics. North Dakota has the third-highest median family income and third-most affordable housing in the U.S. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is about $779 per month, and the median home value is $236,358. North Dakota also has the second-lowest separation and divorce rate.

4. New York

With a score of 59.80, New York is considered the fourth-best state to raise a family. New York ranks second for Family Fun and fifth for Affordability. New has plenty of attractions, such as New York City, beaches, skiing, and more. Unfortunately, New York lacks significantly in Socio-economics, where it ranks 47th. New York has the country's lowest median family income and a relatively high poverty rate of over 13%.

5. Vermont

Vermont is the fifth-best state for raising families. Vermont ranks first for Health & Safety, fourth for Socio-economics, and fifth for Education & Child Care. Vermont has a very low overall crime rate and has the fourth-lowest violent crimes per capita of 1.7 incidents per 1,000 people. Vermont is also considered the healthiest state in the U.S., with one of the country's highest public health funding at $157 per person and the second-highest number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people.

Parents and future parents will want to look at each state's public school rankings, overall safety, and quality of life in detail, among others.

Here are the 10 states with the highest overall score:

  1. Massachusetts (60.88)
  2. Minnesota (60.57)
  3. North Dakota (60.1)
  4. New York (59.8)
  5. Vermont (59.16)
  6. New Hampshire (58.85)
  7. New Jersey (58.76)
  8. Washington (58.46)
  9. Connecticut (55.86)
  10. Utah (55.48)

Best States To Raise A Family 2021

State Total Score Health & Safety Rank Education & Child Care Rank Affordability Rank Family Fun Rank Socio-Economics Rank
New Mexico28.954550453849
Mississippi29.75039354948
Louisiana33.834347321950
West Virginia33.833941375029
Oklahoma34.494845404337
Arkansas34.834934364833
Alabama36.333644254739
South Carolina37.973838444127
Arizona38.224448481226
Nevada38.52464950446
Tennessee41.054731422420
North Carolina42.693429392530
Kentucky43.172822304535
Florida43.33353249644
Indiana44.23413093523
Idaho44.53124647369
Alaska44.861942281734
Michigan45.23223684225
Delaware45.72720264432
Ohio45.712935131541
Kansas46.434225163711
Texas46.91373341538
Missouri48.863024212217
Wyoming49.081719433213
California49.57404317142
Rhode Island49.78252132743
Georgia49.93340382640
Pennsylvania49.94322871124
Maryland50.362313122331
Oregon51.12637221022
Hawaii51.37226331636
Montana51.6114746396
Maine51.7249314615
Virginia51.751317192818
Illinois53.13311824345
Colorado53.41242729712
Wisconsin54.441515182014
South Dakota55.17161020307
Iowa55.3781115348
Nebraska55.47914232110
Utah55.48201634132
Connecticut55.8618422928
Washington58.4611234816
New Jersey58.7626111819
New Hampshire58.8531210313
Vermont59.161527404
New York59.82165247
North Dakota60.17214331
Minnesota60.575811145
Massachusetts60.881036921

Best States To Raise A Family 2021