These Are The Best And Worst States To Live For Working Mothers In 2018

If you have kids, you might want to consider moving to the state that came in first place.

While modern American society has made collective strides to improve the lives of working mothers, some states have gotten further than others. A recent report from Wallethub, a personal finance website, ranked the states in their friendliness to the "woman who has it all," based on where each state stands on issues like childcare, professional opportunities, and work-life balance

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"The categories are very much intertwined," Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at Wallethub, told TODAY. "These states tend to have very strong parental leave policies. Professional opportunities are better when moms don't have to be stressed (about missing work) and we also see that childcare tends to do better, too."

Overall, the results were a reflection of politics, rather than region. "Blue states tend to be a little friendlier to working moms," she continued. "The states that have been doing well continue doing well and fine-tune policy, and the states that haven't done well haven't seen too much movement." 

From worst to best, check out this list to see how your state stacks up: 

51. Idaho

Great for potatoes. Not so much for working moms. Idaho earned Wallethub's last place because it has the worst daycare in the country, as well as the second-lowest ratio of female executives to male executives.

50. Louisiana

49. Alabama

48. Nevada

47. South Carolina

46. Mississippi

45. West Virginia

44. Georgia

43. Wyoming

42. Texas

41. Alaska

Alaska's forty-first ranking is partially due to its high childcare costs. It is one of 19 states where both the annual cost of center-based infant care and center-based preschool-age care exceed the annual cost of tuition and fees at four-year state public colleges.

40. Tennessee

39. Oklahoma

38. South Dakota

37. Arizona

36. Michigan

35. New Mexico

34. Missouri

33. Pennsylvania

32. Arkansas 

31. Ohio

Ohio offers up to 12 weeks parental leave — unpaid. Combined with 2016 estimates that the average cost of infant care in Ohio is $8,977 and families of three earning more than $26,117 are ineligible for help with childcare costs, it's not surprising the Buckeye State was ranked 38th in 'professional opportunities.' 

30. Virginia

29. Maryland

28. Utah

27. Kentucky 

26. Florida

25. North Carolina

24.  Hawaii

23. Washington 

22. Nebraska

21. Iowa

Iowa has no official paid maternity law, however the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does afford mothers many of the same privileges as it grants them up to 12 of job-protected unpaid leave. 

20. Kansas

19. New Hampshire

18. Illinois

17. Colorado

16. Montana 

15. Indiana

14. Wisconsin 

13. California 

12. Oregon 

11. North Dakota

Families in North Dakota are also protected under FMLA and can take up to four months of job-protected unpaid leave in a 12-month period. 

10. New York 

9. Delaware

8. New Jersey

7. Maine 

6. Rhode Island 

5. Connecticut

4. District of Columbia

3. Massachusetts

2. Minnesota

1. Vermont

Vermont is leading the way for working mothers with a bill advocating for 12 weeks paid family leave recently passing the state senate. Because the legislation would raise taxes to cover costs, it looks likely that the bill will be vetoed by Governor Phil Scott. Even so, Vermont has the lowest gender pay gap in the country and was ranked first in 'professional opportunities.' Both practices empower women in the workplace and better equip them to pay for childcare. 

Cover image via Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

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