A recent Father’s Day report finds working dads have it easiest in the Northeast — but struggle in the South and West.
Working dads have it easiest in the Northeast.
WalletHub’s 2018 Best & Worst States for Working Dads report ranked Connecticut as the No. 1 state for men playing dual roles as parents and providers, with fellow New England states Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire rounding out the top 10.
Almost 93% of dads with kids under 18 are employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while most parents are struggling to juggle supporting their families with actually spending time with them, the WalletHub study ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 20 key indicators of friendliness toward working fathers, such as the average length of the work day for men; the average child-care costs in the area; the state’s economic well-being; and the percentage of men in good health.
The work-life struggle is real for many fathers: 63% of them told the Pew Research Center last year that they spend too little time with their kids, and 62% blamed work obligations as the main reason why they’re missing this family time.
Connecticut was best overall, thanks to high marks on economic/social well-being and work-life balance (placing fourth out of 51 spots), as well as child-care rank (third place) and health rank (fifth place). It also scored second place for the lowest percentage of kids with a dad living in poverty, and ranked fourth for highest male life expectancy. Connecticut was also among the top five states to raise a baby in a previous WalletHub report, and has some of the lowest suicide rates on the country.
Midwestern state Minnesota took second place, thanks to being No. 1 in both economic and social well-being and health and taking No. 2 in child-care rank. Minneapolis, one of its major cities, has also been drawing more and more millennials thanks to its strong job market as the home of 3M, Target and Allina Health System, and the state has scored highly in previous WalletHub reports on civic engagement and quality of life.
Massachusetts, which was named WalletHub’s best state to raise a family earlier this year, took third despite its expensive real estate market and work-life balance issues (coming in 13th place), because working dads there enjoy the best child care (first place) and are generally healthier (third place) than fathers in other states on the list. The District of Columbia and Vermont rounded out the top five.
Southern and Western states didn’t fare so well. West Virginia came in last place due to especially low marks for health (49th place), child care (47th place) and economic/social well-being (44th place.) Mississippi ranked the worst for men’s health; Idaho ranked the worst for child care; New Mexico, recently listed as the worst state to raise a family by WalletHub, was the worst for economic/social well-being; and Texas was the worst for work-life balance. West Virginia and Mississippi were also among the worst states to have a baby due to fewer pediatricians per capita and higher infant mortality rates; they have also been listed among the unhappiest states in the U.S. Southern states such as Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri did boast the lowest child-care costs, however.
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