Good news, Pats nation! The Bay State is the best state to raise a family. Well — at least according to a new study.
Massachusetts earned the top spot thanks to its high marks in education and child care (third overall) and affordability (sixth). It was also in the top ten for family fun (number of attractions and rec centers, among other factors) and health and safety.
Minnesota ranked second thanks to strong marks across the board, particularly health and safety and socioeconomics (fifth in both). North Dakota was third, as the top state on the socioeconomics metric, second-best in education & child care, and seventh in health & safety. Rounding out the top five are New York and Vermont.
On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and New Mexico were the worst states to raise a family. The map uses a color-coded feature — the darkest hue of teal count for the best places to raise a family whereas the lightest are the worst. The full list is viewable on their website. Does that mean it’s impossible to raise a family in those states, or even that it will be difficult for everyone? Of course not.
“Parents and children can do well in any state. But doing your best will indeed be easier in some states than in others, and child development is better on average in some states than in others,” says Dave Riley, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology who took part in the report.