Raising a healthy, stable family sometimes requires moving to a new state. And the reasons are often similar: career transitions, better schools, financial challenges or perhaps a general desire to change settings.
So, where to go? The personal-finance website WalletHub has released its analysis of 2017's Best & Worst States to Raise a Family.
In order to determine the best states in which to put down family roots, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 40 key indicators of family-friendliness. Data ranges from “median family salary” to “housing affordability” to “unemployment rate.”
Best vs. Worst
• Wyoming has the highest median family annual income (adjusted for cost of living), $79,732, which is 1.7 times higher than in Hawaii, where it is lowest at $48,111.
• Utah has the lowest divorce rate, 16.22 percent, which is 1.8 times lower than in the District of Columbia, where it is highest at 29.81 percent.
• Wyoming has the lowest share of families receiving food stamps, 6.17 percent, which is 3.6 times lower than in the District of Columbia, where it is highest at 22.01 percent.
• New Hampshire has the lowest share of families living below poverty level, 5.6 percent, which is 3.1 times lower than in Mississippi, where it is highest at 17.6 percent.
• Mississippi has the lowest child-care costs (adjusted for median family income), 6.16 percent, which is 2.8 times lower than in the District of Columbia, where they are highest at 17.41 percent.
• California has the lowest infant-mortality rate, 4.30 percent, which is two times lower than in Alabama, where it is highest at 8.68 percent.
• Vermont has the lowest violent-crime rate per 1,000 residents, 1.18, which is 10.8 times lower than in the District of Columbia, where it is highest at 12.69.
Best States for Families
Worst States for Families
District of Columbia