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Adorable family, cute parents in yellow clothes with their child son sitting by the table and drawing and laughing. Three abstract bottles on the table

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Whether you already have children or are planning a family in the future, one of the most shocking parts of being a parent is learning about the actual expense of having children. The average cost of raising a child in the United States from birth to age 17 is currently over $286,000 — for one child.

Two adorable little sisters playing with a digital tablet

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A survey among parents conducted by showed 51% of parents are spending at least 20% of their median household income for childcare. Total costs of being pregnant, the process of childbirth and postpartum care averaged $18,865. The average cost of baby formula is $400 to $800 per month for babies who are exclusively formula-fed. Babies average using around 6-12 diapers per day, which translates to an average annual household cost of $986 for disposable diapers.

Young mother is holding her little baby boy

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When families factor in other concerns including inflation, healthcare, education and a recession; some parents are taking drastic measures to try to save money by relocating.

The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family. Indiana was at number 34 on the list. 

Source: WalletHub

To determine the best states in which to put down family roots, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 51 key indicators of family-friendliness. The data set ranges from the median annual family income to housing affordability to the unemployment rate.

Cute little girl playing with rubber ducklings at home

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These Are the Best States to Raise a Family:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Minnesota
  3. New York
  4. North Dakota
  5. Vermont
  6. New Hampshire
  7. New Jersey
  8. Nebraska
  9. Iowa
  10. Connecticut

These Are the Worst States to Raise a Family:

  1. Arizona
  2. Georgia
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Arkansas
  5. Alabama
  6. South Carolina
  7. Louisiana
  8. West Virginia
  9. New Mexico
  10. Mississippi

More Findings from the Study:

Utah has the lowest separation & divorce rate 15.63 percent, which is 1.7 times lower than in Nevada, where it is highest at 25.79 percent.

New Hampshire has the lowest share of families living in poverty 4.60 percent, which is 3.3 times lower than in Mississippi, where it is highest at 15.00 percent.

South Dakota has the lowest average annual cost of early childcare (as a share of median family income) 7.05 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in North Carolina, where it is highest at 13.32 percent.

Maine has the fewest violent crimes (per 1,000 residents) 1.09, which is 7.7 times fewer than in Alaska, the state with the most at 8.38.