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Best and worst states to have a baby

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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.

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#51. Mississippi

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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Alabama

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

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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

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#48. Louisiana

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

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Okiefromokla // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Oklahoma

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

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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

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Jaime Soto // Flickr

#45. Georgia

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

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Stuart Seeger // Flickr

#44. Arkansas

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

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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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Nevada

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

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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

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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

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DonkeyHotey // Flickr

#39. Florida

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

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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

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Tony Webster // Flickr

#37. Missouri

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

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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

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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

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MPD01605 // Flickr

#34. Delaware

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

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Lorie Shaull // Flickr

#33. Wyoming

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

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#32. Michigan

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

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formulanone // Flickr

#31. Indiana

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

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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

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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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Idaho

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

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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

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#26. Pennsylvania

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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Virginia

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

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Stuart Seeger // Flickr

#24. Kansas

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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Maryland

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

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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

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Doug Kerr // Flickr

#21. Illinois

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

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MPD01605 // Flickr

#20. New Jersey

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

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mrenner34 // Flickr

#19. Wisconsin

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

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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

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Quinn Dombrowski // Flickr

#17. Maine

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

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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

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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

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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

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Daniel Ramirez // Flickr

#13. Hawaii

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

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daveynin // Flickr

#12. Utah

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

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AirLiner // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Washington

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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#10. California

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

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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

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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

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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

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Connecticut

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

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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

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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

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Tony Webster // Flickr

#3. Minnesota

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

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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

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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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