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Best States for Working Moms

Best States for Working Moms

Where does your state rank?

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Being a mother is one of life’s greatest gifts, but it has its challenges, some of which are unique for working moms. One thing that can make motherhood a little easier is living in a state with laws and standards that support, protect and uplift working women. Personal finance website WalletHub has released a new study that ranks the best and worst states to live in for working moms. Read on to discover where your state ranks.

Methodology

Methodology

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To come up with its ranking, WalletHub considered three different categories: child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance. Every state was assigned a score in each category, and the overall ranking is an average of the scores across the three metrics.

#51 Louisiana

#51 Louisiana

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Unfortunately for Louisianians, their state was deemed the worst in the nation for working mothers. Louisiana ranks last in child care and second to last in professional opportunities for women, which doesn’t bode well for women looking to reenter the workplace.

#50 Mississippi

#50 Mississippi

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Mississippi is the absolute worst place for women in terms of professional opportunities and second-worst for working moms overall. Strangely, it also has a weird state law on the books that deems having more than one child out of wedlock to be a misdemeanor.

#49 Alabama

#49 Alabama

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Alabama is in the bottom 10 states across all three categories, so it’s not surprising that it’s No. 49 on the list. The Yellowhammer State is also the state with the highest rate of bankruptcy filings per capita.

#48 South Carolina

#48 South Carolina

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Known for its Southern cuisine and hospitality, South Carolina has the second-lowest female executive-to-male executive ratio in the country, but it also has the lowest child care costs when considered in proportion to the median women’s income, placing it at No. 48.

#47 West Virginia

#47 West Virginia

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It’s a good thing that West Virginia has, on average, the lowest home prices in America, since its track record for working mothers isn’t great, landing it at No. 47.

#46 Idaho

#46 Idaho

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WalletHub ranked Idaho’s daycare systems as the worst in the nation, which has contributed to the state ranking second to last in child care and at No. 46 overall. And while the state may not have a stellar track record when it comes to daycare, Idaho is still one of the happiest states in America.

#45 Oklahoma

#45 Oklahoma

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Oklahoma, home to many great destinations along Route 66, ranks 45th for working moms. However, its daycare systems are tied with those of Texas and North Dakota at third-best in the nation.

#44 New Mexico

#44 New Mexico

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Although its state nickname is “the Land of Enchantment,” working mothers aren’t too enchanted in New Mexico, which earned the No. 44 ranking on the list.

#43 Nevada

#43 Nevada

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Gambling may be legal in Nevada, but don’t bet on having a great lifestyle there as a working mom. Despite tying with Washington, D.C., with the third-lowest gender pay gap in the country, the state — which has some of the best restaurants in America — ranked at No. 43 overall.

#42 Georgia

#42 Georgia

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Despite its official state food, things are not peachy for moms in Georgia, which has the worst work-life balance and ranked 42nd overall on the list.

#41 Arkansas

#41 Arkansas

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Despite having the third-lowest child-care costs in the nation, Arkansas is 41st overall for working moms. But is it affordable beyond child care? The median home value of a house in Arkansas is around $129,500.

#40 Texas

#40 Texas

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Everything’s bigger in Texas — except work-life balance, in which the state ranks third-worst. Despite being tied with Oklahoma and North Dakota in having the third-best daycare systems in the country, Texas only ranked at No. 40 overall.

#39 Alaska

#39 Alaska

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Alaska ranked 39th on the list, but at least it’s one of the states with the lowest income taxes in the country — it has none.

#38 Arizona

#38 Arizona

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Morning sickness is the most searched medical symptom in Arizona, but expecting mothers shouldn’t expect things to be easy if they decide to work. The state ranked No. 38 overall.

#37 Florida

#37 Florida

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Home to beautiful beaches and world-famous theme parks, Florida ranks at No. 37 overall for working mothers.

#36 Wyoming

#36 Wyoming

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One of the strangest facts about Wyoming is that the state has only two sets of escalators — not counting the “glass escalator,” the phenomenon in which men in female-dominated professions advance further and faster than women. Ranking 36th overall, the state has the highest gender pay gap in the country.

#35 California

#35 California

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California is only No. 35 on the list, despite having the lowest gender pay gap in the country and the seventh-best work-life balance — “hella good” work-life balance, as the locals would say.

#34 Hawaii

#34 Hawaii

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Hawaii is 34th overall for working moms, but it’s a pretty great place to live in general, as evidenced by the fact that it has some of the most beautiful waters in the world.

#33 Pennsylvania

#33 Pennsylvania

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Although Pennsylvania is home to some of the biggest mansions in America, the state still ranks in the lower half for the best places to live if you’re a working mother. The state ranked 33rd on the list overall.

#32 Michigan

#32 Michigan

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Known for its Midwestern charm and beautiful lake towns, Michigan is the 32nd-best state overall for working moms.

#31 North Carolina

#31 North Carolina

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The Tar Heel State is 31st on the list for the best places to live if you’re a working mother. Home to some of the most expensive travel destinations in America, North Carolina is ranked 12th in professional opportunities.

#30 Missouri

#30 Missouri

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Missouri, which has some of the most beautiful college campuses in America, ranks second-lowest in child-care costs across the nation, but ranks only 30th on the list.

#29 Nebraska

#29 Nebraska

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With the highest child-care costs in the country and the second-worst daycare system, Nebraska isn’t great for working moms with younger children. And while it only ranks 29th overall, Nebraska still has some of the most caring cities in America.

#28 Maryland

#28 Maryland

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Although it’s the second-worst in terms of work-life balance, Maryland ranks eighth for professional opportunities for working moms and No. 28 overall. But, getting to work is a different story as commute times in Maryland can reach upward of 32 minutes.

#27 Illinois

#27 Illinois

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Illinois placed 27th on the list, with a middle-of-the-pack ranking in work-life balance and in the bottom 10 states for professional opportunities. If you have a kid getting ready for college though, Illinois’ Northwestern University has one of the most beautiful college campuses in the Midwest.

#26 Utah

#26 Utah

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Despite having the 10th best work-life balance in the country, Utah ranks only No. 26 overall. The state has the lowest female executive-to-male executive ratio in America and the second-highest gender pay gap. But Utah makes the cut for states where six-figure households are common.

#25 Ohio

#25 Ohio

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Although it’s home to some of the most beautiful places in America’s state and national parks, Ohio is pretty average across the board in all categories. The state ranked No. 25 overall for working moms.

#24 Kansas

#24 Kansas

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Right in the middle of the American heartland, Kansas is the 24th best state for working mothers.

#23 Tennessee

#23 Tennessee

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Home to some of the most popular national parks in America, Tennessee ranked 23rd on the list.

#22 Kentucky

#22 Kentucky

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Famous for its Derby cocktails and fried chicken, Kentucky is the 22nd best state for working mothers.

#21 Virginia

#21 Virginia

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Virginia, home to one of the best coastal towns in America, ranked as the 21st-best state for working mothers. The state, which ranked in the top 15 for child care and professional opportunities, ranked in the bottom five for work-life balance.

#20 Indiana

#20 Indiana

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The 20th-best state for working mothers is Indiana, which is home to one of the largest children’s museums in the world.

#19 Montana

#19 Montana

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If you decide to raise your family in Montana, you’ll be close to a couple of the most underrated tourist destinations in the world. The state, which is ranked as 19th-best for working mothers, placed in the top 15 for work-life balance.

#18 Iowa

#18 Iowa

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Iowa is ranked as the 18th-best state for working mothers. Should you choose to live there, check out Dyersville — it’s home to an iconic movie location you can actually visit.

#17 Oregon

#17 Oregon

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Oregon, which has one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, ranks as the 17th-best state for working mothers. It ranked fourth in the work-life balance category.

#16 Colorado

#16 Colorado

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Colorado may rank as the 16th-best state for working mothers, but it’s also a state that gets a lot of snowfall. If you can handle the snow, Colorado is a great place for professional opportunities — it ranked fourth in that category.

#15 New York

#15 New York

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New York is the 15th-best state for working mothers. It’s also a great place to spot a celebrity, an extra perk of living in The Empire State.

#14 North Dakota

#14 North Dakota

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If you’re a working mother looking for a new place to settle down, North Dakota is ranked 14th on the overall list and fifth in childcare. Should you choose to move there, make sure you check out Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the state’s most photogenic spot.

#13 Delaware

#13 Delaware

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The First State is the 13th-best place to live for working mothers. Delaware ranks in the top 10 for both child care and professional opportunities. The state is also home to one of the best old-school boardwalks in America.

#12 South Dakota

#12 South Dakota

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If you’re a working mother looking to relocate, then South Dakota is a good option — it’s home to one of the most underrated small towns in America. South Dakota ranks as the 12th-best state for working mothers and second in the professional opportunities category.

#11 Washington

#11 Washington

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Washington, home to one of the most amazing hidden gems in America, is the 11th-best state for working mothers. It ranks third in work-life balance.

#10 Wisconsin

#10 Wisconsin

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Known for having some of the most fun indoor attractions in America, Wisconsin is the 10th-best state for working mothers.

#9 New Hampshire

#9 New Hampshire

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New Hampshire, which is ranked third for professional opportunities, is the ninth-best state for working mothers across all three categories. And if any of your kids are getting ready to apply for college, Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, has one of the most beautiful campuses on the East Coast.

#8 Maine

#8 Maine

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Not only is Maine home to one of the best sunrise spots in the world, but it’s also a great state for working mothers. It ranks eighth on the list overall and is sixth in professional opportunities.

#7 Rhode Island

#7 Rhode Island

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Rhode Island, home to a few underrated American cities you need to visit, is the seventh-best state to live in if you’re a working mother. It also ranks second in work-life balance.

#6 New Jersey

#6 New Jersey

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New Jersey is the sixth-best state for working mothers. It’s also one of the best places in America to see cherry blossoms.

#5 Washington, D.C.

#5 Washington, D.C.

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Not only is the District of Columbia a great place for working mothers, coming in at fifth on the list, but it’s also one of the safest cities in the world.

#4 Connecticut

#4 Connecticut

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Connecticut is the fourth-best state for working mothers and ranks third in childcare. But brace yourself for when it’s time for your kids to get married. Connecticut is in the top five for states that spend the most money on weddings.

#3 Vermont

#3 Vermont

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Not only is Vermont the third-best state for working mothers, but it’s also one of the most magical places to live come autumn.

#2 Minnesota

#2 Minnesota

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There’s a reason Minnesota is second on the list for best states for working mothers — it’s also one of the best states to raise a family in. When observing the individual categories, Minnesota ranked first for childcare and for professional opportunities.

#1 Massachusetts

#1 Massachusetts

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Ranked first on the list for the best state to live in if you’re a working mom is Massachusetts. The state ranked first in work-life balance, second in child care and seventh in professional opportunities. Now that you know some of the best places to live if you have children, check out these 50 bucket list items every parent should do in their lifetime.

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