Wallethub, a personal finance website, released a report this week that expertly explains the best and worst states for working mothers.

They used 16 metrics to analyze each state including childcare, work-life balance, opportunity and the gender pay gap, among others. States were then given a score in each category to determine which were the best and which fell short.

Blue states beat out red states—Massachusetts being number one which was due largely in part to a very favorable childcare ranking.

The lowest ranking state was Louisiana with low grades in all categories—but Alabama ranked even lower in the work opportunities category.

New York ranked highest for best day care options (but
day care costs in NYC are notoriously expensive).

The top ten best states are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Connecticut
  4. Vermont
  5. District of Columbia
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. Wisconsin
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Washington

The worst ten states are :

  1. Arizona
  2. Texas
  3. West Virgina
  4. Georgia
  5. Nevada
  6. Mississippi
  7. Idaho
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Louisiana

To see your state's score, hover above it on the map below:

Source: WalletHub

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 71% of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce and women represent nearly half of full-time wage and salary workers in the United States. Yet, they are only making 85% of what men made in 2018.

In fact, mothers typically make only 71 cents to every dollar a father makes, and it's costing us $16,000 a year.

WalletHubs new findings fuel the gender inequality debates around the country. Women work before they are mothers. Women
need to work even after they become mothers. Women want to work after they become mothers. Women are working after they become mothers. So, what are we going to do?

Here are 5 ways you can take action today:

1. Ask for a raise

Most mothers are underpaid. This obviously isn't right. Feel empowered enough to demand your worth. Your employer is lucky to have you. Our friends at
Fairygodboss share four excellent ways you can prepare to ask for the money you deserve.

Check out the salary negotiation tools on
Payscale to help you prepare for a conversation with your boss—including the specific data you'll want to backup your request for a raise.

2. Lobby for affordable childcare

Get involved with activist groups in your area or online. Speak up at work. Educate yourself on the issue. Check out some of these organizations for more info—
The American Association of University Women (AAUW), Moms Rising, and National Partnership for Women and Families.

3. Spread the word

Be an advocate for yourself and other parents. Talk to other moms and dads about what their childcare issues are, what they do to make things work and how you can come together to fix this problem. Use your social media platforms to start meaningful, productive conversations.

4. Advocate for more on-site childcare

Businesses can work toward providing on-site childcare opportunities for employees.
Google, Cisco, Patagonia, gDiapers, General Mills all do, to name a few.

5. Contact your state reps

If you're not happy about where your state landed on WalletHub's list this year, let your legislators know that you're demanding better for yourself and all the mamas in your state.

[A version of this post was first published May 11, 2017. It has been updated.]

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