Tennessee ranks 41st in best states for having babies

Tim Bish

With August being one of the most popular months for newborn arrival and Americans paying the highest birthing costs in the world, the personal-finance website WalletHub.com has released its report on 2018’s Best & Worst States to Have a Baby.

To determine the most ideal places in the U.S. for parents and their newborns, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 26 key measures of cost, health care accessibility and baby-friendliness. The data set ranges from hospital conventional-delivery charges to annual average infant-care costs to pediatricians per capita.

Tennessee’s just barely escaped being in the bottom 10, coming in at 41st. The state’s total score was 35.26, with a cost ranking of 44th, a health car ranking of 47, a baby-friendliness ranking of 15 and a family-friendliness ranking of 36.

Following are Wallethub’s picks for the 10 best and 10 worst states in which to have a baby.

Best locations

1. Vermont

2. Massachusetts

3. Minnesota

4. New Hampshire

5. North Dakota

6. Connecticut

7. Colorado

8. Nebraska

9. District of Columbia

10. California

Worst locations

42. Nevada

43. New Mexico

44. Arkansas

45. Georgia

46. West Virginia

47. Oklahoma

48. Louisiana

49. South Carolina

50. Alabama

51. Mississippi

Some facts that emerged in the analysis are:

  • Mississippi has the lowest average annual cost for early child care, $3,114, which is 4.9 times lower than in the District of Columbia, the highest at $15,137.
    Alaska has the lowest share of childbirths with low birth weight, 5.90 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at 11.46 percent.
    Vermont has the most obstetricians and gynecologists (per 100,000 residents), 22, which is 11 times more than in Oklahoma, the fewest at two.
    California has the highest parental-leave policy score, 155, while 12 states, such as Arizona, Michigan and South Carolina, tied for the lowest at 0.

To view the full report, visit wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-to-have-a-baby/6513.