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Massachusetts
66.14
Minnesota
62.07
New York
61.11
North Dakota
59.60
Vermont
59.27
New Hampshire
58.17
New Jersey
58.14
Nebraska
57.95
Iowa
57.05
Connecticut
57.03
Rhode Island
56.95
Washington
56.30
Illinois
55.49
South Dakota
55.45
Utah
55.25
Maine
55.01
Wisconsin
54.86
Pennsylvania
53.89
Maryland
53.39
Colorado
53.34
Virginia
52.60
California
52.04
Hawaii
51.36
Oregon
50.55
Montana
50.49
Texas
49.71
Wyoming
49.60
Kansas
49.21
Missouri
49.21
Delaware
47.91
Ohio
47.69
Florida
47.28
Tennessee
46.17
Indiana
45.77
Idaho
45.74
Michigan
45.51
Kentucky
45.40
Alaska
44.74
North Carolina
43.11
Nevada
41.41
Arizona
40.40
Georgia
40.24
Oklahoma
38.48
Arkansas
38.47
Alabama
37.38
South Carolina
37.16
Louisiana
36.80
West Virginia
34.86
New Mexico
30.78
Mississippi
30.01

Best States to Raise a Family 2024

Best States to Raise a Family 2024

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, and Socio-Economics. Every state is scored from zero to 100 based on each indicator. 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.

State
Total Score
Massachusetts66.14
Minnesota62.07
New York61.11
North Dakota59.60
Vermont59.27
New Hampshire58.17
New Jersey58.14
Nebraska57.95
Iowa57.05
Connecticut57.03

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.

Best States to Raise a Family 2024

Notes:
- All data except Wallethub total score are expressed as rankings from 1 (best) to 50 (worst). All data pertain to 2023.
- Wallethub (top table) determines overall rankings by comparing the 50 states across 51 key indicators of family friendliness, ranging from the median annual family income to housing affordability and the unemployment rate.
- MoneyRates (lower table) determines overall rankings by comparing the 50 states across 9 factors: academic performance, availability of youth checking accounts, overall affordability, college affordability, safety from crime, access to daycare, child health, kid-friendly neighborhood amenities, and broadband availability.

Download Table Data

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State
Total Score
Affordability
Education and Child Care
Family Fun
Health and Safety
Socioeconomics
Massachusetts66.14229522
Minnesota62.077121385
New York61.116142946
North Dakota59.6016132161
Vermont59.272674612
New Hampshire58.172253638
New Jersey58.1433231325
Nebraska57.9524619106
Iowa57.0599311410
Connecticut57.031829731
Rhode Island56.9541927427
Washington56.3053182319
Illinois55.49112542945
South Dakota55.45251130127
Utah55.25331518194
Maine55.0132445214
Wisconsin54.861313212511
Pennsylvania53.891724112120
Maryland53.39810251736
Colorado53.34193273115
Virginia52.602017281517
California52.04214513240
Hawaii51.36403315623
Oregon50.551440102026
Montana50.49461834243
Texas49.71352934744
Wyoming49.604516371112
Kansas49.211822383513
Missouri49.212723223416
Delaware47.911221442238
Ohio47.691536162842
Florida47.28503063935
Tennessee46.173026204024
Indiana45.772327333818
Idaho45.74444339189
Michigan45.511041412628
Kentucky45.402820433034
Alaska44.743744172721
North Carolina43.113937243729
Nevada41.41494954248
Arizona40.404848123633
Georgia40.244135264641
Oklahoma38.483139404843
Arkansas38.473428484532
Alabama37.382938474437
South Carolina37.163846424139
Louisiana36.803647144949
West Virginia34.864342503330
New Mexico30.784750354347
Mississippi30.014234495050
showing: 50 rows

Best States to Raise a Family 2024

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

State
Overall Rank (MoneyRates)
Affordability
Academic Performance
Access to Youth Checking Accounts
College Affordability
Safety from Violent Crime Rank
Availability of Daycare
Child Health
Neighborhood Amenities
Broadband Connectivity
Alabama5095025334445484645
Alaska4745444711504064411
Arizona43273733374148352014
Arkansas4024225154717404148
California364945102539473245
Colorado133320203430301013
Connecticut4439104535151412
Delaware323538204036130396
District of Columbia
Florida72632122921102723
Georgia2583310132520393732
Hawaii385047503117465517
Idaho11198336104283814
Illinois272027447332835324
Indiana2411184232735293237
Iowa28142133211323452233
Kansas226242520344323228
Kentucky3518271032737344742
Louisiana49174139244638434247
Maine194019392911063031
Maryland1844261626401815107
Massachusetts24613422441469
Michigan41102716443844472729
Minnesota163063338122723813
Mississippi4414839121431505050
Missouri3352120194325423536
Montana2934114753214153633
Nebraska1213153916217272417
Nevada3736423384249271316
New Hampshire537225492318184
New Jersey1423446584118
New Mexico484493974933443148
New York1048341926621921
North Carolina232131442815374035
North Dakota2625114722169192544
Ohio916114351829191725
Oklahoma4434039143736374841
Oregon3047242536152231219
Pennsylvania30322316482211262329
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island16413620419123721
South Carolina46233810394539104943
South Dakota20281139173113131639
Tennessee4272710274841484339
Texas3415344303534403225
Utah224333311502221
Vermont1539325504212638
Virginia2129151643619461920
Washington1438152028202624151
West Virginia39124525102632334546
Wisconsin72272518181692927
Wyoming3193918242412
showing: 52 rows

Best States to Raise a Family 2024

Sources