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2018's Best & Worst States to Have a Baby

Posted at 12:50 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 12:50:25-04


With August being one of the most popular months for newborn arrival and Americans paying the highest birthing costs in the world, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best & Worst States to Have a Baby [] as well as accompanying videos [].

To determine the most ideal places in the U.S. for parents and their newborns, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 26 key measures of cost, health care accessibility and baby-friendliness. The data set ranges from hospital conventional-delivery charges to annual average infant-care costs to pediatricians per capita.  

Best States to Have a Baby   Worst States to Have a Baby
1 Vermont   42 Nevada
2 Massachusetts   43 New Mexico
3 Minnesota   44 Arkansas
4 New Hampshire   45 Georgia
5 North Dakota   46 West Virginia
6 Connecticut   47 Oklahoma
7 Colorado   48 Louisiana
8 Nebraska   49 South Carolina
9 District of Columbia   50 Alabama
10 California   51 Mississippi

Best vs. Worst

  • Mississippi has the lowest average annual cost for early child care, $3,114, which is 4.9 times lower than in the District of Columbia, the highest at $15,137.
  • Alaska has the lowest share of childbirths with low birth weight, 5.90 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at 11.46 percent.
  • Vermont has the most obstetricians and gynecologists (per 100,000 residents), 22, which is 11 times more than in Oklahoma, the fewest at two.
  • California has the highest parental-leave policy score, 155, while 12 states, such as Arizona, Michigan and South Carolina, tied for the lowest at 0.