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Best and worst states to have a baby

  • Best and worst states to have a baby
    1/ shurkin_son // Shutterstock

    Best and worst states to have a baby

    Having a baby isn’t all teeny-tiny socks, adorable stuffed animals, and polka-dot onesies. Besides all the “aww”-inducing cuteness, there are plenty of real concerns for expectant parents—health and safety is chief among them. The United States has the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world. The country’s parental leave policies—or lack thereof—fall far behind other countries. The cost of raising children in America has risen exponentially since the 1960s and continues to grow. And those are just a few of the facts that parents must consider.  

    But within the United States, which states are safest for new parents and their babies? Using data from WalletHub, Stacker ranked all 50 states and Washington, D.C. from least to most baby-friendly. WalletHub used 26 key indicators to score each state on cost, health care access, baby friendliness, and family friendliness. Indicators included hospital delivery charges, infant mortality rate, midwives and obstetrician-gynecologists per capita, parental leave policies, and birth rate.

    Whether or not you’re ready to start a family, this ranking of the best and worst states to have a baby may give you food for thought.

    RELATED: Breaking down babysitting costs across the U.S.

  • #51. Mississippi
    2/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #51. Mississippi

    Total score: 23.16
    Cost rank: #29
    Health care rank: #50
    Baby-friendliness rank: #44
    Family-friendliness rank: #49

  • #50. Alabama
    3/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Alabama

    Total score: 25.28
    Cost rank: #47
    Health care rank: #46
    Baby-friendliness rank: #50
    Family-friendliness rank: #48

  • #49. South Carolina
    4/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. South Carolina

    Total score: 27.53
    Cost rank: #34
    Health care rank: #48
    Baby-friendliness rank: #49
    Family-friendliness rank: #44

  • #48. Louisiana
    5/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #48. Louisiana

    Total score: 30.57
    Cost rank: #1
    Health care rank: #51
    Baby-friendliness rank: #32
    Family-friendliness rank: #46

  • #47. Oklahoma
    6/ Okiefromokla // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. Oklahoma

    Total score: 31.93
    Cost rank: #45
    Health care rank: #41
    Baby-friendliness rank: #23
    Family-friendliness rank: #45

  • #46. West Virginia
    7/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. West Virginia

    Total score: 32.17
    Cost rank: #10
    Health care rank: #45
    Baby-friendliness rank: #47
    Family-friendliness rank: #47

  • #45. Georgia
    8/ Jaime Soto // Flickr

    #45. Georgia

    Total score: 33.6
    Cost rank: #23
    Health care rank: #43
    Baby-friendliness rank: #31
    Family-friendliness rank: #42

  • #44. Arkansas
    9/ Stuart Seeger // Flickr

    #44. Arkansas

    Total score: 33.69
    Cost rank: #9
    Health care rank: #49
    Baby-friendliness rank: #26
    Family-friendliness rank: #43

  • #43. New Mexico
    10/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. New Mexico

    Total score: 34.74
    Cost rank: #16
    Health care rank: #36
    Baby-friendliness rank: #25
    Family-friendliness rank: #50

  • #42. Nevada
    11/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. Nevada

    Total score: 34.78
    Cost rank: #33
    Health care rank: #26
    Baby-friendliness rank: #48
    Family-friendliness rank: #41

  • #41. Tennessee
    12/ Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

    #41. Tennessee

    Total score: 35.26
    Cost rank: #44
    Health care rank: #47
    Baby-friendliness rank: #15
    Family-friendliness rank: #36

  • #40. North Carolina
    13/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #40. North Carolina

    Total score: 37.46
    Cost rank: #30
    Health care rank: #31
    Baby-friendliness rank: #42
    Family-friendliness rank: #38

  • #39. Florida
    14/ DonkeyHotey // Flickr

    #39. Florida

    Total score: 37.99
    Cost rank: #41
    Health care rank: #40
    Baby-friendliness rank: #28
    Family-friendliness rank: #32

  • #38. Arizona
    15/ Peter Zillman // Wikimedia Commons

    #38. Arizona

    Total score: 39.12
    Cost rank: #22
    Health care rank: #25
    Baby-friendliness rank: #38
    Family-friendliness rank: #40

  • #37. Missouri
    16/ Tony Webster // Flickr

    #37. Missouri

    Total score: 40.22
    Cost rank: #31
    Health care rank: #39
    Baby-friendliness rank: #43
    Family-friendliness rank: #24

  • #36. Kentucky
    17/ Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Kentucky

    Total score: 40.76
    Cost rank: #7
    Health care rank: #38
    Baby-friendliness rank: #33
    Family-friendliness rank: #37

  • #35. Texas
    18/ Tim Patterson // Wikimedia Commons

    #35. Texas

    Total score: 41.49
    Cost rank: #40
    Health care rank: #44
    Baby-friendliness rank: #29
    Family-friendliness rank: #20

  • #34. Delaware
    19/ MPD01605 // Flickr

    #34. Delaware

    Total score: 41.97
    Cost rank: #37
    Health care rank: #20
    Baby-friendliness rank: #41
    Family-friendliness rank: #31

  • #33. Wyoming
    20/ Lorie Shaull // Flickr

    #33. Wyoming

    Total score: 42.09
    Cost rank: #48
    Health care rank: #33
    Baby-friendliness rank: #17
    Family-friendliness rank: #28

  • #32. Michigan
    21/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #32. Michigan

    Total score: 42.43
    Cost rank: #6
    Health care rank: #35
    Baby-friendliness rank: #39
    Family-friendliness rank: #35

  • #31. Indiana
    22/ formulanone // Flickr

    #31. Indiana

    Total score: 42.52
    Cost rank: #8
    Health care rank: #42
    Baby-friendliness rank: #30
    Family-friendliness rank: #30

  • #30. Montana
    23/ Sebastian Bergmann // Wikimedia Commons

    #30. Montana

    Total score: 43.46
    Cost rank: #15
    Health care rank: #23
    Baby-friendliness rank: #46
    Family-friendliness rank: #27

  • #29. Alaska
    24/ Richard Marting // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. Alaska

    Total score: 45.83
    Cost rank: #51
    Health care rank: #5
    Baby-friendliness rank: #7
    Family-friendliness rank: #39

  • #28. Idaho
    25/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Idaho

    Total score: 45.87
    Cost rank: #13
    Health care rank: #18
    Baby-friendliness rank: #24
    Family-friendliness rank: #34

  • #27. South Dakota
    26/ Napa // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. South Dakota

    Total score: 46.18
    Cost rank: #49
    Health care rank: #16
    Baby-friendliness rank: #45
    Family-friendliness rank: #19

  • #26. Pennsylvania
    27/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #26. Pennsylvania

    Total score: 46.78
    Cost rank: #4
    Health care rank: #32
    Baby-friendliness rank: #51
    Family-friendliness rank: #18

  • #25. Virginia
    28/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #25. Virginia

    Total score: 47.04
    Cost rank: #17
    Health care rank: #28
    Baby-friendliness rank: #35
    Family-friendliness rank: #21

  • #24. Kansas
    29/ Stuart Seeger // Flickr

    #24. Kansas

    Total score: 47.4
    Cost rank: #35
    Health care rank: #9
    Baby-friendliness rank: #36
    Family-friendliness rank: #26

  • #23. Maryland
    30/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. Maryland

    Total score: 47.61
    Cost rank: #5
    Health care rank: #29
    Baby-friendliness rank: #27
    Family-friendliness rank: #29

  • #22. Ohio
    31/ Andreas Faessler // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. Ohio

    Total score: 48.26
    Cost rank: #3
    Health care rank: #34
    Baby-friendliness rank: #34
    Family-friendliness rank: #23

  • #21. Illinois
    32/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    #21. Illinois

    Total score: 50.56
    Cost rank: #32
    Health care rank: #24
    Baby-friendliness rank: #20
    Family-friendliness rank: #15

  • #20. New Jersey
    33/ MPD01605 // Flickr

    #20. New Jersey

    Total score: 50.64
    Cost rank: #43
    Health care rank: #30
    Baby-friendliness rank: #16
    Family-friendliness rank: #12

  • #19. Wisconsin
    34/ mrenner34 // Flickr

    #19. Wisconsin

    Total score: 53.65
    Cost rank: #46
    Health care rank: #22
    Baby-friendliness rank: #18
    Family-friendliness rank: #6

  • #18. New York
    35/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #18. New York

    Total score: 53.86
    Cost rank: #42
    Health care rank: #27
    Baby-friendliness rank: #13
    Family-friendliness rank: #7

  • #17. Maine
    36/ Quinn Dombrowski // Flickr

    #17. Maine

    Total score: 54.03
    Cost rank: #21
    Health care rank: #7
    Baby-friendliness rank: #37
    Family-friendliness rank: #17

  • #16. Oregon
    37/ Oregon Department of Transportation // Flickr

    #16. Oregon

    Total score: 54.67
    Cost rank: #12
    Health care rank: #10
    Baby-friendliness rank: #11
    Family-friendliness rank: #25

  • #15. Rhode Island
    38/ Morrow Long // Wikimedia Commons

    #15. Rhode Island

    Total score: 54.79
    Cost rank: #36
    Health care rank: #6
    Baby-friendliness rank: #9
    Family-friendliness rank: #22

  • #14. Iowa
    39/ Jason Riedy // Wikimedia Commons

    #14. Iowa

    Total score: 54.95
    Cost rank: #25
    Health care rank: #21
    Baby-friendliness rank: #21
    Family-friendliness rank: #8

  • #13. Hawaii
    40/ Daniel Ramirez // Flickr

    #13. Hawaii

    Total score: 55.04
    Cost rank: #14
    Health care rank: #12
    Baby-friendliness rank: #2
    Family-friendliness rank: #33

  • #12. Utah
    41/ daveynin // Flickr

    #12. Utah

    Total score: 55.17
    Cost rank: #24
    Health care rank: #17
    Baby-friendliness rank: #10
    Family-friendliness rank: #16

  • #11. Washington
    42/ AirLiner // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. Washington

    Total score: 55.99
    Cost rank: #26
    Health care rank: #14
    Baby-friendliness rank: #14
    Family-friendliness rank: #13

  • #10. California
    43/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #10. California

    Total score: 56.07
    Cost rank: #50
    Health care rank: #11
    Baby-friendliness rank: #6
    Family-friendliness rank: #10

  • #9. District of Columbia
    44/ denisbin // Flickr

    #9. District of Columbia

    Total score: 56.44
    Cost rank: #28
    Health care rank: #37
    Baby-friendliness rank: #1
    Family-friendliness rank: N/A

  • #8. Nebraska
    45/ Peter Zillman // Wikimedia Commons

    #8. Nebraska

    Total score: 56.59
    Cost rank: #19
    Health care rank: #15
    Baby-friendliness rank: #22
    Family-friendliness rank: #9

  • #7. Colorado
    46/ Sebastian Bergmann // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. Colorado

    Total score: 57.8
    Cost rank: #38
    Health care rank: #8
    Baby-friendliness rank: #4
    Family-friendliness rank: #14

  • #6. Connecticut
    47/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #6. Connecticut

    Total score: 59.3
    Cost rank: #39
    Health care rank: #13
    Baby-friendliness rank: #3
    Family-friendliness rank: #11

  • #5. North Dakota
    48/ Drew Tarvin // Flickr

    #5. North Dakota

    Total score: 63.21
    Cost rank: #2
    Health care rank: #19
    Baby-friendliness rank: #19
    Family-friendliness rank: #4

  • #4. New Hampshire
    49/ Hollis1138 // Wikimedia Commons

    #4. New Hampshire

    Total score: 65.65
    Cost rank: #11
    Health care rank: #2
    Baby-friendliness rank: #40
    Family-friendliness rank: #3

  • #3. Minnesota
    50/ Tony Webster // Flickr

    #3. Minnesota

    Total score: 67.06
    Cost rank: #18
    Health care rank: #4
    Baby-friendliness rank: #5
    Family-friendliness rank: #2

  • #2. Massachusetts
    51/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    #2. Massachusetts

    Total score: 67.76
    Cost rank: #27
    Health care rank: #3
    Baby-friendliness rank: #12
    Family-friendliness rank: #1

  • #1. Vermont
    52/ Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Vermont

    Total score: 69.61
    Cost rank: #20
    Health care rank: #1
    Baby-friendliness rank: #8
    Family-friendliness rank: #5

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