Vermont is no. 1
Here’s a crib sheet for expectant parents.
Vermont is the no. 1 best state to have a baby, according to the finance site WalletHub — trailed by Minnesota, New Hampshire, Connecticut and North Dakota. Massachusetts, Maine, Utah, Iowa and Nebraska round out the top 10.
The worst state? Mississippi, followed by Louisiana, Nevada, West Virginia and Alabama. New York ranks no. 35.
The site’s ranking of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. takes into account 20 measures of cost, baby friendliness (i.e., parental-leave policy, mom groups per capita, child-care centers per capita and share of nationally accredited child-care centers), family friendliness and access to health care. It pulls in data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and several other organizations.
The International Federation of Health Care Plans pegged the average cost of a normal delivery in 2015 at $10,808, with a C-section tacking on $5,298 extra, as WalletHub noted. But state by state, North Dakota has the lowest conventional-delivery charges at a hospital; Rhode Island, New Jersey and California tie for the highest. Hospital Cesarean-delivery charges are lowest in Maryland and highest in California and Jersey.
The nation’s capital has the highest average annual cost of early child-care ($14,855), but also the most pediatricians and family doctors per capita. As for child-care center availability, Wyoming and Vermont tie for the most per capita, followed by Arkansas, Alaska and Maryland. New parents have worse luck in Indiana, Utah, Nevada, West Virginia and New York.
States with the lowest infant mortality rates include New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, California and Vermont; those with the highest were Georgia, Alabama, D.C., Delaware and Mississippi.
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved