Massachusetts is the best state in the country to raise a family, with New Mexico reportedly the worst, according to a new ranking from personal finance website WalletHub. The survey crunched numbers from 52 different factors to rank all 50 states.
“Raising a healthy, stable family sometimes requires moving to a new state,” the study reads. “And the reasons for moving are often similar: career transitions, better schools, financial challenges or a general desire to change settings.”
The survey first looked at five main categories, each with multiple weighted subcategories that were scored on a scale from 1 to 100. Those categories were: family fun, health and safety, education and childcare, affordability and socio-economics.
After receiving a score, each state was ranked in comparison with the scores of other states, to determine its overall ranking in each category.
Massachusetts was ranked as the best place to raise a family, with the state finishing in the top-10 in each category outside of socio-economics, where it ranked 21st.
Minnesota ranked second overall and was the state with the largest median annual family income, adjusted for cost of living, at $85,473, which was 1.5 times higher than New York.
Rounding out the top five were North Dakota, New York and Vermont, all states that scored extremely high in the education and childcare category.
New Mexico was the lowest-ranked list on the state on the list, finishing bottom 10 in nearly early category, including finishing last in the education and childcare score.
Rounding out. the bottom five were Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Finding the best place to raise a family, however, isn’t as simple as picking a state with great schools, or a low cost of living. Each family needs to consider the importance of each specific category and “wants and needs don’t always align in a particular state,” the study reads.
“For instance, a state might offer a low income-tax rate but have a subpar education system,” the study continues. “However, families do not need to make these kinds of tradeoffs. They can avoid such problems by knowing which states offer the best combination of qualities that matter most to parents and their kids.”