Having a baby always comes with many costs and challenges, but the difficulty of the experience can vary depending on where you live.
Personal finance website WalletHub released its annual report this week ranking the best and worst states to have a baby in 2020. The rankings are based on 32 metrics related to cost, health care quality and accessibility, and baby- and family-friendliness.
According to the report, the best states for parents and their newborns are Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, North Dakota and Rhode Island. The lowest-ranked are Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia.
In addition to the usual factors like hospital delivery charges, maternal mortality rates, infant care costs and pediatricians per capita, this year’s report also took into account a few coronavirus-related metrics ― including health infrastructure’s ability to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and positive testing rates.
WalletHub’s analysis gave Massachusetts the highest score for its parental leave policy. Alaska has the lowest share of babies with low birth weight at 5.85%; Mississippi has the highest share at 12.12%. Mississippi also has the lowest average annual cost for early childcare ($4,060), while costs in the District of Columbia are the highest ($15,860).
Visit WalletHub for the full rankings and more information about the methodology behind this report.