These Are the Best (and Worst) States for Working Moms

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Working 9-to-5, what a way to make a living—especially when you’ve got kids at home! With women making up almost half of the workforce, there is much to be said about the inequality working moms face and how to get a fair shake (we see you, wage disparity).

A new study from WalletHub is out to determine the ideal spots for moms to work by using three key dimensions, including childcare, professional opportunities and work-life balance. After compiling all the data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the study not only shares the best states for working moms but also the worst.

WalletHub used a panel of experts in addition to evaluating 17 key metrics that include daycare quality and costs, median women’s salary, share of families in poverty, parental leave policies, women’s average commute time and more. Each metric was weighted, then averaged out per state to give a score.

The top 10 states are:

  1. Massachusetts (62.99 total score)
  2. Connecticut (62.95)
  3. Rhode Island (61.99)
  4. Minnesota (59.79)
  5. Wisconsin (57.57)
  6. District of Columbia (57.35)
  7. Vermont (55.40)
  8. New Jersey (55.26)
  9. New York (53.53)
  10. New Hampshire (52.19)

Source: WalletHub

And the worst, based on the WalletHub metrics:

  1. Arkansas (38.45)
  2. California (38.44)
  3. Georgia (37.46)
  4. Oklahoma (37.30)
  5. West Virginia (35.33)
  6. Nevada (32.60)
  7. Idaho (32.43)
  8. South Carolina (31.98)
  9. Alabama (31.33)
  10. Mississippi (29.14)
  11. Louisiana (27.38)

The study found that New York ranks top for best daycare systems, Mississippi has the lowest childcare costs (as a percentage of median women’s income), Connecticut has the lowest gender pay gap and the District of Columbia has the highest female-executive-to-male-executive ratio. On the flip side, Nebraska has the highest childcare costs, and Utah has both the highest gender pay gap and the lowest female-executive-to-male-executive ratio. 

While you might not be packing your bags after surveying this list, the study is timely—nearly 68% of moms with children under age 18 were working in 2021 . You can find more specific data for your area at Wallethub. And remember: Don’t be afraid to contact your state and local government to lobby for positive change!

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