CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Thinking about expanding your family? Before you add a little bundle of joy to the picture, you may want to think about where you live and the increased stress because of the pandemic.
WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 key measures from cost and health care accessibility as well as family friendliness. The data set included the average conventional hospital delivery charges, average infant-care costs and pediatricians in the area.
The top five states to have a baby were:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts all ranked in the top five for the lowest infant mortality rate. Vermont also took the top spots for the most pediatricians and family doctors per capita. Colorado, Montana, Vermont and Tennessee shared the top spot for most child care centers per capita.
The worst states (ranked 47 to 51) to have a baby were:
- South Carolina
Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi ranked as the states with the highest infant-morality ranking. California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and New York all shared the top spot as the highest hospital conventional-delivery charges.
Experts stressed that parenthood readiness also relies on planning and utilizing proper resources. Judith A. Myers-Walls, professor of human development and family studies at Purdue University, said that parents can utilize tools to help counter the stress and outside influences when raising a child.
“For many decades, the US Department of Agriculture has prepared a publication called The Costs of Raising a Child in the US. They include three levels—one for those who choose or need to raise children on a limited budget, a moderate level, and a top-level for those who can do so with more extravagant means,” Myer-Walls said in part. “An advantage of those charts is that they outline the major categories of food, housing, clothing, medical care, education, and other expenditures that can help parents see where childrearing might impact their lifestyle. It also shows that they have choices of levels for raising their children.”
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