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Best States For Working Moms

These Are the Best and Worst States For Working Moms

All things are not created equal when it comes to working moms. In fact, moms in some states are better off than those in others. Our friends at All You break down the data about the places for working moms to live.

If you're a working mom, you're in pretty good company: Most American mothers work (including the American mother writing this particular sentence). In fact, according to 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, fully 70 percent of mothers work.

But while working families are the norm, actually being a working family is, well, challenging—as many of us can attest. Housing costs and childcare costs are high and on the rise—indeed, in most states, the average cost of childcare now tops both the average cost of rent and college. Many working moms, too, still struggle to find career opportunities that suit their goals: A growing percentage of mothers who don't work say that's because they can't find work—and many working mothers can't find the part-time or flex-time jobs they really want. (Oh, and it's still the case that women earn about 75 cents on the dollar compared to men.)

I'm fortunate enough to have a full-time job in a city where pre-K is free for all children, but where the "spend no more than 30 percent of your income on housing" rule is a joke and where childcare costs are among the highest in the country. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that I woke up this morning in the country's 17th best state for working mothers.

I can't quite decide whether that's good news.

WalletHub this week released their study of 2015's Best & Worst States for Working Moms, and it includes some good surprises, and some not-so-good. Basing their rankings on a weighted combination of child care (looking at availability, cost, and quality), professional opportunities (including factors such as female unemployment rate, gender pay gap, and the ratio of female to male executives), and work-life balance (factoring in such variables as average commute time and parental leave policy), these were reported to be the 10 best states to be a working mom:

  1. Vermont
  2. Minnesota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Washington
  7. North Dakota
  8. Maine
  9. Virginia
  10. Ohio

And the 10 worst?

  1. Kentucky
  2. Oklahoma
  3. North Carolina
  4. West Virginia
  5. Georgia
  6. Arkansas
  7. Nevada
  8. Alabama
  9. Mississippi
  10. South Carolina
  11. Louisiana

Another interesting surprise was the ranking of states with the lowest child care costs as a percentage of an average woman's income. Fair warning: Two of the states (Alabama and Louisiana) offering the most affordable day care were also judged by the same study to have among the worst day care systems in the country, although the criteria used in that ranking are not explained in full.

States with the Best Day-Care-Cost-to-Women's-Income Ratio:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Mississippi
  3. Louisiana
  4. Arkansas
  5. Alabama

States with the Worst Day-Care-Cost-to-Women's-Income Ratio:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Minnesota
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. District of Columbia

See the full list of best to worst states for working moms below, and check out the full study on WalletHub.

  1. Vermont
  2. Minnesota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Washington
  7. North Dakota
  8. Maine
  9. Virginia
  10. Ohio
  11. Nebraska
  12. Connecticut and Maryland
  1. Utah
  2. New Jersey
  3. Oregon
  4. New York
  5. Delaware
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Illinois and Iowa
  1. Idaho
  2. Tennessee
  3. Kansas
  4. South Dakota
  5. Montana
  6. Colorado
  7. Indiana
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Florida
  10. Hawaii
  11. California
  12. Texas
  13. District of Columbia
  14. Michigan
  15. Wyoming
  16. Alaska
  17. New Mexico
  18. Missouri
  19. Arizona
  20. Kentucky
  21. Oklahoma
  22. North Carolina
  23. West Virginia
  24. Georgia
  25. Arkansas
  26. Nevada
  27. Alabama
  28. Mississippi
  29. South Carolina
  30. Louisiana

Where does your state rank? Are you surprised?

More great reads from All You:
17 Apps to Get Your Family Organized
Planning for Vacation Costs with Kids
5 Ways to Save Money on Graduation Parties (Plus, Cute DIY Decorations!)

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