Best and Worst States to Raise a Family

Animated map shows best and worst states to raise a family
Animated map shows best and worst states to raise a family

Where you decide to live can be crucial to raising a family. There are so many decisions to weigh from education to safety to cost of living.


This ranking was released in February. It will be curious to see whether this changes after a full year of the current administration (or even if the same variables will be applied.

WalletHub divided 40 variables into five dimensions: 1) Family Fun (6 variables), 2) Health & Safety (8 variables), 3) Education & Child Care (6 variables), 4) Affordability (9 variables) and 5) Socioeconomics (11 variables). It then weighted those metrics and put them on a 100-point scale.

The variables are listed in the methodology , but included things such as weather, job security, house affordability, mortgage debt, share of people living below the poverty line, child care costs, violent crime, among others.

Overall, North Dakota ranked first and New Mexico ranked last. The full list is here.

Happiness economist Arthur Brooks is frequently quoted on TPOH, and notably in a recent video in which he argued that geographic immobility has been one of the greatest barriers to growth in recent decades. So this ranking begs the question: Would you move your family to another state if it would raise your quality of life?