If you’re a working mom, you know it can be really tough to juggle the responsibilities of motherhood, the obligations of the job and the money that’s supposed to pay for everything.
And some places make it a lot harder than it needs to be, while in other locations more enlightened attitudes—and laws—do more to take the weight off your shoulders.
Of course, knowing that and knowing which places really do more for mothers can be something of a challenge—which is why WalletHub analyzed the data and crunched the numbers to see where moms might get a bit of a break that lasts longer than Mother’s Day.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Child Care Aware of America, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Council for Community and Economic Research, National Partnership for Women & Families and its own proprietary research, WalletHub came up with rankings for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Among the 13 metrics used to determine states’ positions, some of the factors playing into the rankings include child care (day care, cost, pediatricians and schools); professional opportunities (after all, how can you be a working—as in getting a paycheck—mom if you can’t get or hold a job?); and work/life balance.
The gender pay gap, number of female executives compared with males, the female unemployment rate, the share of families in poverty, the parental leave policy score and the average commute time for women—as well as the average length, in hours, of women’s work weeks—all went into the mix.
What resulted is a pretty good indication of where you might find it a little easier to manage the myriad responsibilities you have to deal with on a daily—no, make that hourly, or even minutely—basis.
If you’re contemplating relocation to find a more congenial place, you might want to check here first—lest instead of bettering your circumstances, you accidentally end up worsening them. One thing to keep in mind: blue states—those that voted Democratic in the last election—do better for working moms than do red states.
The five best states for working mothers, as ranked by WalletHub, are in order: Vermont, Minnesota, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut. They offer better child care, more professional opportunities and (mostly) better work/life balance (although Delaware only got a 33 on that count, but it made up for it with #1 for both child care and professional opportunities).
The five worst states are, growing progressively worse, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Louisiana and Alabama. The latter two are at the very bottom of the pile in professional opportunities for women (they also have the dubious distinction of ranking among the worst day care systems), but Alaska and Arizona aren’t much better. Nevada offers more job potential, but when it comes to both child care and work/life balance, you’ll have a tough time. And both Alaska and Nevada will bleed you on the cost of child care.
Before you consider a new home in another state, keep these factors in mind—and your move might prove to be more rewarding than you think.