Health

These Are The Healthiest States In America In Which To Raise Children

How does your state rank?

Everyone wants their kids to grow up to be happy and healthy—that’s a given. But some places are just healthier than others. Care.com looked at data for all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia, although that’s not included in the list) to determine which is the healthiest place to raise kids. They broke that data down into three major categories:

  • Health and Safety
  • Education and Child Care
  • Socioeconomics

Each category was compiled of specific data points and metrics (each from 0-100) that factored into a state’s overall score and ranking. They looked at things like air quality, high school graduation rates, housing affordability and a number of other factors. The total score was based on a weighted average between Health and Safety (40 percent), Education and Child Care (30 percent) and Socioeconomics (30 percent). Here are the results.

Courtesy Care.com

5o. New Mexico

Sorry, New Mexico. This state scored dead last in Socioeconomic Conditions, Education and Overall Score and got a 47 out of 50 for Health and Safety.

49. Mississippi

Mississippi ranked second-to-worst for the healthiest place to raise your kids. It scored dead last in Health and Safety (50 out of 50) and got a 48/50 for Education and Socioeconomic Conditions.

48. Lousiana

The south does not fare well on this list. Louisiana scored second-to-last for Socioeconomic Conditions (49/50), 46/50 for Education and Childcare and 43/50 for Health and Safety.

47. Nevada

Nevada, too, scored depressingly low in all three categories. It ranked 48 for Health and Safety and 47 for Education. It did rank 37/50 for Socioeconomic Conditions, however, possibly due to the massive hiring power of Las Vegas.

46. West Virginia

West Virginia scored extremely low as well. It scored second-to-last in Education (49/50) and ranked 44 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions. It did, however, score 39/50 for Health and Safety, so maybe all hope is not lost.

45. Arizona

Arizona’s low scores in the Health and Safety metric (49/50) pushed it down the list. It also scored 43/50 for both Education and Socioeconomic Conditions. Arizona, step up your game.

44. Alabama

Low scores in Health and Safety and Socioeconomic Conditions (46/50 and 47/50, respectively) keep Alabama in the bottom ten states to raise healthy kids. They also scored a poor 37/50 for Education.

43. Georgia

As previously noted, southern states did not fare well in this map. Scoring 42/50 in Health and Safety and 40/50 in Socioeconomic Conditions, Georgia also gets a D-grade (32/50) for Education.

42. Oklahoma

Though Oklahoma scored a 26 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions, poor rankings in Health and Safety and Education (both 44/50) dragged this state to the bottom 10.

41. Tennessee

Tennessee scored pretty low in all three categories: 34 out of 50 for Education, 41 out of 50 for Health and Safety and 38 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions. Whoops.

40. Alaska

Rounding out the bottom ten states is Alaska. Poor scores in Education (45 out of 50) contribute to its placement. The state also scored a 37 out of 50 for Health and Safety and a 30 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

39. Arkansas

Arkansas scored a poor 45 out of 50 in Health and Safety, which put it low on the list overall. It ranked 39 out of 50 for Education and 31 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

38. California

Surprisingly, California was relatively low on the list as well. I guess all the green juice in the world won’t make up for low scores in Socioeconomic Conditions (41 out of 50) and Education (40 out of 50). It did score a 32 out of 50 for Health and Safety, though.

37. South Carolina

South Carolina scored poorly in Health and Safety (40 out of 50), and in the bottom two-thirds for Socioeconomic Conditions (33/50) and Education (35/50).

36. Kentucky

Low scores in Socioeconomic Conditions (39 out of 50) contributed to Kentucky’s place on this list. The state scored a low 35 out of 50 for Health and Safety and a 29 out of 50 for Education.

35. New York

Another surprise—New York is so low on this list because of bad scores in both Education (40 out of 50) and Socioeconomic Conditions (41 out of 50). It did score 27 out of 50 for Health and Safety, but that wasn’t enough to pull it any higher.

34. Florida

Florida scored a depressing 46 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions which is why it’s so far down on this list. You’d think all that sun and surf would be good for a kid! It only ranks 28 out of 50 for Health, however, and 30 out of 50 for Education.

33. North Carolina

Though North Carolina ranked relatively high in Education (20 out of 50), it didn’t fare so well for Health (34 out of 50) or Socioeconomic Conditions (35 out of 50).

32. Texas

Texas ranked quite low for Health and Safety on this list, scoring just a 38 out of 50—maybe it’s all that meaty Texas BBQ? It scored a moderate 28 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and a respectable 24 out of 50 for Education.

31. Ohio

Poor scores in Education (36 out of 50) and Health (33 out of 50) dropped Ohio down the list, despite ranking 21 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

30. Oregon

Though Oregon ranks a stunning 6 out of 50 for Health and Safety (must be all those piney woods!) it fares poorly in Education (42 out of 50) and Socioeconomic Conditions (45 out of 50), which drops it this far down the list.

29. Michigan

Though Michigan scores a respectable 23 out of 50 for Health and Safety, it doesn’t fare so well in Socioeconomic Conditions (27 out of 50), and ranks low in Education (37/50).

28. Illinois

Illinois cracks the top 25 healthiest states in the categories for Health and Safety (20 out of 50) and Education (23 out of 50) but only ranks 32 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

27. Delaware

Delaware ranks quite high for education (17 out of 50) but only scores a 29/50 in Socioeconomic Conditions and a 26 out of 50 for Health and Safety.

26. Missouri

Missouri doesn’t rank especially high in Health and Safety (just 29 out of 50) but scored a 17/50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and a 19/50 for Education.

25. Idaho

Finally, we’re cracking the top 25 healthiest states for kids! Idaho ranks reasonably high for Health and Safety at 16 out of 50 and Socioeconomic Conditions (19 out of 50), but ranks a pretty mopey 32 out of 50 for Education.

24. Montana

All the fresh air and mountains in Montana contribute to it scoring an 18 out of 50 for Health and Safety. It also scored a 21 out of 50 for both Education and Socioeconomic Conditions.

23. Rhode Island

The smallest state performed admirably in the Education sector, scoring 11 out of 50. It also scored an excellent 12 out of 50 for Health and Safety. But when it comes to Socioeconomic Conditions, Rhode Island only got a 36 out of 50, bumping it well down the list.

22. Indiana

Indiana snagged a 12 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and an 18 out of 50 for Education, which keep it higher on the list. But a poor showing for Health and Safety (30 out of 50) knock this state just out of the top 20.

21. Washington

Washington State scored an excellent 4 out of 50 for Health and Safety, which isn’t surprising if you’ve ever been to the health food mecca that is Seattle. But a 34 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and a 28 out of 50 for Education  make the overall score much lower.

20. Maryland

Finally reaching the top 20 healthiest states to raise kids, we have Maryland. It scores an excellent 7 out of 50 for Education, an acceptable 16 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and a not-so-excellent 36 out of 50 for Health and Safety.

19. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has moderate scores all around—a 12 out of 50 for Education, a 14 out of 50 for Health and Safety and a 25 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions. Not a ton of surprises there.

18. South Dakota

While South Dakota scores an excellent 9 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions (likely due to the recent fracking boom) and rates a reasonable 17 out of 50 for Health and Safety, it scores poorly in Education, coming in at 31 out of 50.

17. Kansas

Similarly, Kansas scores high on Socioeconomic Conditions with a 7 out of 50. But it only ranks 25 out of 50 for Health and Safety and 27 out of 50 for Education.

16. Wisconsin

Wisconsin is another state that shows good scores around the board with no big outliers. It scores a 14 out of 50 for both Education and Socioeconomic Conditions and a 19 out of 50 for Health and Safety. Perhaps they docked a few points for the proliferation of fried cheese curds?

15. Virginia

Virginia ranks an excellent 9 out of 50 for Education, a respectable 15 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and an only “okay” 24 out of 50 for Health and Safety.

14. Colorado

Colorful Colorado scores 10 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions and 13 out of 50 for Health and Safety (probably all that skiing you can do!), but only 25 out of 50 for Education.

13. Utah

Another state with high scores for Socioeconomic Conditions, Utah ranks 5 out of 50. Unfortunately, it only ranks 21 out of 50 for Health and Safety and 26 out of 50 for Education.

12. Wyoming

In a similar vein, Wyoming gets an 8 out of 5o for Socioeconomic Conditions. But it scores 16 out of 50 for Education and 22 out of 50 for Health and Safety. Maybe people keep lassoing themselves?

11. Hawaii

Unsurprisingly, Hawaii scores extremely high for Health and Safety, coming in at 5 out of 50. But low scores on Socioeconomic Conditions (24 out of 50) and Education (21 out of 50) keep it out of the top 10.

10. North Dakota

Cracking the top 10 healthiest states for children is North Dakota. It scores an excellent 2 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions (again, likely due to fracking) and scores a reasonable 15 out of 50 for Education, but falls quite short in Health and Safety, with only a 31 out of 50.

9. Maine

Beautiful Maine ranks 8 out of 50 for Health and Safety, 10 out of 50 for Education, but only 20 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

8. New Jersey

Jersey ranks an excellent 5 out of 50 for Education and Childcare and a similarly good 9 out of 50 for Health and Safety, but only 23 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

7. Nebraska

Nebraska scores 4 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions, 11 out of 50 for Health and Safety and 13 out of 50 for Education.

6. Iowa

Iowa gets a very high 3 out of 50 ranking for Socioeconomic Conditions and a good 8 out of 50 for Education. It only gets a 15 out of 50 for Health and Safety, however—but still, a respectable score.

5. Connecticut

Connecticut gets 2 out of 50 for Education, which skyrockets it to the top 5 of this list. It also ranked 10 out of 50 for Health and Safety, but only 18 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

4. Minnesota

Minnesota scores high across the board, ranking 6 out of 50 for both Education and Socioeconomic Conditions and 7 out of 50 for Health and Safety. Maybe it’s all that prairie grass.

3. Massachusetts

The East Coast reigns supreme when it comes to the top 3 healthiest states for kids. Massachusetts ranks an incredibly high 2 out of 50 for both Education and Health and Safety, but only a 13 out of 50 for Socioeconomic Conditions.

2. Vermont

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the gorgeous state of Vermont ranks number 1 out of all 50 states for Health and Safety. It also scores a 4 out of 50 for Education, but only gets an 11 out of 50 (just barely missing the top 10!) for Socioeconomic Conditions.

1. New Hampshire

The winner of it all is New Hampshire, scoring 1 out of 50 for both Education and Socioeconomic Conditions (who would’ve guessed?). It also ranks 3 out of 50 for Health and Safety. So I guess if you have kids or are looking to have them at some point, New Hampshire is the place to do it!