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The best place to raise a family

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Children can become wonderful adults just about anywhere, but there are clues to finding the best place to raise yours. Local attributes such as available resources and support systems, cost of living, and immunization rates can guide you.

A recent WalletHub study ranked the 50 U.S. states from best to worst for raising a family by scoring each on 51 metrics across five categories: affordability, health and safety, education and childcare, socioeconomics, and family fun. .

The cost of housing and insurance, savings rates, mortgage debt and other parameters were taken into account in affordability. Data on vaccination rates, the availability of pediatricians and other health services, as well as environmental quality, crime rates and road safety were among those considered under the health and safety heading. Employment opportunities, divorce rates, poverty and unemployment rates fell under the heading of socio-economics. Finally, the proportion of families with children, the proportion of children living near parks or playgrounds and the preponderance of attractions designed for fun, play, fitness and sport were weighed in the category of family leisure.

Some spotlight: Iowa had the most affordable housing, while California had the least (no surprise there). Utah had the most families with young children per capita, while West Virginia had the fewest. And per capita child care costs were lowest in South Dakota and highest in Nebraska.

This week’s chart shows the 10 best and 10 worst states in which to raise a child, according to the study, along with the individual categories that helped or hurt their rankings the most.