Best Places to Raise a Family – 2017

Best Places to Raise a Family Find mor family blogs at Families.comParents want the very best for their children. They want their family to live in a place that is safe, healthy, and filled with opportunities. WalletHub evaluated each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine what the best (and worst) states to raise a family are. Here is a look at the very best states to raise a family in.

WalletHub’s data team compared the 50 states (and District of Columbia) based on 40 key indicators of family-friendliness. Some of those criteria included “median family salary”, “housing affordability”, and “unemployment rate”. From there, they grouped criteria into different categories and gave each state (and the District of Columbia) a rank for each one. They also gave each an overall rank.

According to WalletHub, the top ten best states to raise a family in are:

  1. North Dakota – overall score 65.81
  2. New Hampshire – overall score 65.59
  3. Vermont – overall score 65.24
  4. Minnesota – overall score 65.22
  5. Nebraska – overall score 64.18
  6. Massachusetts – overall score 63.98
  7. New Jersey – overall score – 63.84
  8. Iowa – overall score – 63.25
  9. Connecticut – overall score 62.93
  10. South Dakota – overall score 62.70

The states that had the highest rank for “Family Fun” are:

  • South Dakota
  • Nevada
  • California
  • Utah
  • Nebraska
  • Colorado
  • Texas
  • New Hampshire
  • Iowa
  • Delaware
  • Idaho

The states that had the highest rank for “Health and Safety” are:

  • Vermont
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia
  • Maine

The states that had the highest rank for “Education and Child Care” are:

  • New Jersey
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Delaware
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota

The states that had the best “Affordability” are:

  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Connecticut
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • New Jersey
  • Kansas
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts

WalletHub also looked at several other criteria that may be of interest for parents who are considering moving to another state. The states that had the lowest child care costs are: Mississippi, South Dakota, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama. The top five states with the most affordable housing are: Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas.The states with the lowest divorce rate are: Utah, North Dakota, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Hawaii.

Of course, families need to consider plenty of other factors before moving. Many families want to live close to the rest of their family members. Some families may need to stay in a particular state because it has the best job opportunities in fields that match the parents’ careers. Other families might take a close look at a state’s government – and compare the decisions made by the legislature and governor to their own family’s values.