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Study: The best states to have babies in

The high cost of raising a child is no surprise to new parents. Some experts estimate that 18 years of raising a child born in 2013 costs an average of $245,000—these daunting figures may be why many millennials seem to be delaying parenthood. But the costs aren’t the same everywhere: Where you live makes a huge difference in what it will cost you to have a baby and how financially prepared you’re likely to feel when you’re ready to have kids.

WalletHub, an online personal finance resource, dug a little deeper into the costs associated with giving birth and making it through the first year of parenthood. The editors explored 21 metrics to figure out the best and worst states for new parents.

They took a look at everything from cost of delivery to health insurance premiums and doctors’ average wages, from number of midwives and OB-GYNs in an area to the number of fertility clinics, and from the number of childcare centers to the state’s parental leave policies. (WalletHub’s full methodology is here.)

If you live if you live in Vermont, you’re in luck—WalletHub determined that you live in the best state to have a baby!

But if you live in one of the lower-ranked states, such as Mississippi (which WalletHub determined to be the worst state for having a baby), don’t freak out. No single state consistently ranked at the bottom of its sub-category rankings that compare states on budget, health care and a baby-friendly environment.

If you’re looking for help on how to budget for baby, certified financial planner Pamela Capalad broke down the costs to help you plan from a positive pregnancy test to labor and delivery.

Check out how your state ranks:

Source: WalletHub

Source: WalletHub

Source: WalletHub

Aided by her tiny office assistant, Shannon Craig Straw is a work-from-home mommy and communications strategist working primarily with social justice and religious advocacy organizations. She tweets at @ShannonStraw.


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