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MA Ranked 2nd Best in America for Raising a Family

Monday, January 07, 2019

 

Add “a top place to raise a family” to the growing list of top rankings for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

According to the new rankings, Massachusetts is second only to Minnesota.

Those top scores for education certainly helped the ranking, but MA scored well across the more than 40 rankings.

“Raising a healthy, stable family sometimes requires moving to a new state. And the reasons for moving are often similar: career transitions, better schools, financial challenges or a general desire to change settings,” writes WalletHub in its ranking.

“But wants and needs don’t always align in a particular state. For instance, a state might offer a low income-tax rate but have a subpar education system. However, families do not need to make these kinds of tradeoffs. They can avoid such problems by knowing which states offer the best combination of qualities that matter most to parents and their kids,” they write.

To help with the evaluation process, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 49 key indicators of family-friendliness. Our dataset ranges from median family salary to housing affordability to unemployment rate. Read on for the complete ranking, relocation advice from our panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.

 

Source: WalletHub

Methodology

In order to determine the best states to raise a family, WalletHub compared the 50 states across five key dimensions: 1) Family Fun, 2) Health & Safety, 3) Education & Child Care, 4) Affordability and 5) Socio-economics.

We evaluated those dimensions using 49 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for family life.

Finally, we determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Family Fun – Total Points: 20

Share of Families with Young Children: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
Note: “Young Children” includes the population aged 0 to 17.
Number of Attractions: Triple Weight (~10.00 Points)
Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Years Who Live in Neighborhoods with a Park or Playground: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Health & Safety – Total Points: 20

Share of Uninsured Children: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Note: “Children” includes the population aged 0 to 18.
Pediatricians per Capita: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Number of Children’s Hospitals per Total Number of Children: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Quality of Public Hospitals: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Note: This metric is based on public-hospital ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Infant-Mortality Rate: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Life Expectancy at Birth: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Number of Climate Disasters Causing $1 Billion+ in Damages in Past Decades: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Air Pollution: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Water Quality: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Violent Crimes per Capita: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Property Crimes per Capita: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Share of Children Aged 6 to 17 Years Who Go to Safe Schools: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Years Who Live in Supportive Neighborhoods: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)
Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Years Living with Parents Who Have Someone to Turn to for Day-to-Day Emotional Support with Parenting or Raising Children: Full Weight (~1.43 Points)

Education & Child Care – Total Points: 20

Quality of Public Schools: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Best & Worst School Systems” ranking.
Public High School Graduation Rate: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Child Day-Care Services per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Day-Care Quality: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Child-Care Costs: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the median family income.
Parental Leave: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Note: This metric is based on parental-leave policy scores from the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Number of Childcare Workers per Total Number of Children: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Share of Children Aged 6 to 17 Years Who Participate in School Extracurricular Activities: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
Share of Children Aged 6 to 17 Years Who Participate in Community Service or Volunteer Work: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)

Affordability – Total Points: 20

Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Housing Costs (accounts for both rental and sale prices) / Median Annual Family Income.
Median Credit Score: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Median Mortgage Debt: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Note: This metric measures the median amount of mortgage debt per adult, as a percentage of median earnings.
Median Non-Mortgage Debt: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Note: This metric measures the median amount of non-mortgage debt per adult, as a percentage of median earnings.
Share of People Who Save Money for their Children’s College Education: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Years Whose Family Had Problems Paying for Their Children’s Medical or Health Care Bills During the Past 12 Months: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Paid Family Leave: Double Weight (~3.64 Points)
Retirement Access & Participation: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Note: “Retirement” refers to employer-based plans only.
Median Annual Family Income: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
Average Annual Family Health Insurance Premium: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)

Socio-economics – Total Points: 20

Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Median Duration of Current Marriage: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Share of Two-Parent Families: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Wealth Gap: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Share of Families Living in Poverty: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Share of Families Receiving Food Stamps: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Job Security: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: (Number of Employees in 2017 – Number of Employees in 2016) / Number of Employees in 2016
Job Opportunities: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Number of Job Openings per Number of Population in Labor Force Minus Unemployed Rate
Job Satisfaction Score: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)


Videos for News Use:

YouTube (for web embedding National)
YouTube (for web embedding Minnesota)
Raw files (for editing into clips)

 
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, Child Care Aware of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Council for Community and Economic Research, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Partnership for Women & Families, TransUnion, National Conference of State Legislatures, The Pew Charitable Trusts, United Health Foundation, Indeed, U.S. News & World Report, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, National Climatic Data Center, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Renwood RealtyTrac, Brandwatch, TripAdvisor and WalletHub research.

 

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