Deciding to have a baby is a huge step that involves a lot of important factors. While many couples look into the financial ramifications, the sacrificing of those long lazy Sundays, and the overall changes, there are bigger things at hand. The state that you live in could also play a part in your quality of family life. Personal finance website WalletHub looked into what areas are the best and worst, using data like hospital delivery charges, infant mortality rates, and how much childcare there is.
The best states for having babies were found to be Vermont, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Minnesota. On the flip side, coming in at the other end of the spectrum were Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. The study examined all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C, focusing on four key elements: baby-related costs, accessibility, and quality of health care, baby-friendliness, and family-friendliness. Subcategories in these subjects include childcare costs, parental leave policies, midwives and OB-GYNs per capita, and pediatricians and family doctors per capita.
Health is an important topic to discuss when conducting a study of this magnitude, so it's not surprising that's where researchers focused. The report discovered that Alaska had roughly 6% of babies born with low weight, while Mississippi has a higher rate of 12%. Mississippi also won the award for lowest childcare costs, coming in at $3,192 each year while the District of Colombia racks up an astonishing $15,515 yearly average. This figure is the highest of all. Childcare costs can make or break the quality of life for families, who often end up working a considerable amount of hours for virtually nothing when the bill comes in.
While these facts and figures illuminate the vast countrywide differences for families across the states, they don't take into consideration other variable factors. For instance, family ties and connections are often invaluable resources when it comes to looking after a newborn, as are what's around your locality.
At the end of the day, a place isn't all numbers and costs, it's who you have around you that matters the most!