The 15 best states to raise a family

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If you want to raise a healthy, stable, safe and educated family, where you live can make that easier or more difficult. There is a lot to weigh when determining where to put down roots. One state might have a low income-tax rate, but another state might have a better education system. A report released by WalletHub determined the best states to raise a family based on rankings for family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability, and socioeconomics. Here are the top 15.


#15: Colorado

Colorado offers majestic mountains and year-round outdoor activities, which is perhaps why Wallethub ranked the state sixth in the family fun category, number 15 overall.

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#14: Rhode Island

Home to some of the hidden gems of the East Coast, Rhode Island landed in the top 10 in two categories: second in affordability and eighth in health and safety. The combination puts the state at 14 overall.

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#13: Wisconsin

Wisconsin didn't rank in the top 10 in a single category, but scored well across the board, not falling below the 50th percentile in any of the scoring areas. It ranked 20th in family fun, 16th in health and safety, 17th in education and childcare, 12th in affordability and 11th in socioeconomics to put the state at 13 overall. It also happens to be home to one of the most beautiful universities in the country.

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#12: Iowa

Iowa didn't rank so high in family fun (32), however, it held solid scores in every other category, coming in 14th in health and safety, 11th in education and child care, 15th in affordability, eighth in socioeconomics and 12th overall. Iowa is also considered one of the happiest states in the U.S.

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#11: South Dakota

Home to beautiful protected lands in state and national parks, South Dakota ranked 10th in both health and safety, and education and child care. It also came in at No. 7 in terms of socioeconomics, which helped it rank 11th overall.

#10: Washington

Home to some of the largest companies in the entire world, Washington is not all work. In fact, it ranked seventh for family fun. It also came in at No. 3 for affordability. These top rankings helped Washington kick off the top 10. 

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#9: Connecticut

Some of the best pizza in the country? Check. Beautiful fall foliage? Check. Great place to raise a family? Check. This East Coast state ranks second when it comes to education and childcare, ninth in health and safety and ninth overall.


#8: Nebraska

Nebraska's prettiest town is called Valentine, and that is just one reason to fall in love with the state that came in 8th for raising a family. Nebraska didn't have an exceptional rank in any one category, but is pretty solid all around. It ranks 10th for socioeconomics and is top 20 in every other category.


#7: New Jersey

You won't be living in New York, but you will be a bridge away from the "city that never sleeps." This state is ranked No. 1 in affordability and is fifth in education and child care. These factors helped the state slide into number seven. New Jersey also happens to be among the states that spend the most on weddings.

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#6: New York

Home to the most populous city in the United States, New York ranked first in the family fun category with plenty of things to do in and outside of New York City. It also came in fourth for affordability but is just shy of the top five overall for raising a family. And if you don't trust Wallethub, trust the celebrities. Many of them love the state enough to call it home, and here's where you can spot them.

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#5: New Hampshire

Home to picturesque coastal towns as well as quaint underrated locales, New Hampshire is pretty exceptional all-around. It does rank in the bottom 15 when it comes to family fun, but is among the top 10 in every other category (health and safety, education and child care, affordability and socioeconomics) and 5th overall. 


#4: Vermont

One of the least-populated states in the United States, Vermont ranks first when it comes to health and safety. The state also came in third in education and child care. With exceptional rankings in these two categories this state is fourth overall for families. And if you love winter weather, here's more good news: Vermont is also known for being among the states with the most annual snowfall.


#3: North Dakota

A perfect pick for nature enthusiasts, North Dakota ranked first for education and child care as well as socioeconomics. However, Wallethub didn't think much of its family fun options, for which it came in 30th. That didn't stop the state from coming in at third overall.

#2: Massachusetts

Massachusetts ranked in the top 10 for three out of the five categories: family fun, health and safety, and education and child care. This safe environment for kids helped it come in at second overall. The only drawback to Massachusetts might be its affordability - or lack thereof. It ranked No. 20 in that category, but maybe that's not shocking considering it's home to an actual castle.

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#1: Minnesota

The home of the hotdish, the most iconic mall in the country and a major city full of covered pedestrian bridges because it gets really cold there, Minnesota is the No. 1 place to raise a family. It ranks in the top 10 in three out of the five categories - health and safety (No. 3), education and child care (No. 6), and socioeconomics (No. 4) - and in the top 13 in the other two - family fun (No. 12) and affordability (No. 13). This state had great rankings in every category and helps it be the top state to raise a family. If you're considering moving to one of these places, you might want to check out the average home price in every state.

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