May 10 2018 57328 5

Dated: 05/10/2018

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Do You Live in One of the Best—or Worst—States for Working Moms?


It's not easy being a working mother, starting with those middle-of-the-night feedings that leave you exhausted throughout the workday and progressing through day care emergencies, carpool drama, and a seemingly endless succession of after-school activities. Juggling all that and a job is even harder. But it turns out where these hardworking mothers live can make quite a bit of difference when it comes to necessities such as child care, professional opportunities, and work-life balance.

The best states for working moms were in the Northeast, with snowy Vermont dominating the rankings for the fourth year in a row, according to a recent WalletHub report. The state boasted the lowest gender pay gap (so women aren't lagging so far behind men in pay) and the lowest female unemployment rate. That helps many of these moms afford excellent child care while they're on the job.

Plus, homes in the Green Mountain State are reasonably affordable, with a median list price of $259,000 as of April 1, according to® data. That's 11.9% below the national median of $289,900.

"Higher-ranking states tend to offer better salaries, smaller pay gaps, and lower unemployment rates among women," says WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "Single mothers should look for places that offer good child care quality at reasonable prices. It's also important to focus on places that offer great opportunities from a professional standpoint, including pay and more female executive roles."

Vermont was followed by Minnesota; Massachusetts; Washington, DC; and Connecticut. Rounding out the top 10 were Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York.

On the other side of the equation were the states that were the worst for working mothers. Idaho topped that list. The state had the worst-ranked day care systems in the nation and the fewest child care workers, according to WalletHub. That's on top of a larger-than-average gender pay gap and a low share of female executives compared with the number of male executives.

Newcomers to Idaho's real estate market may also be in for some sticker shock. The median list price of a home in the state was $319,900 as of April 1—but not for long, according to data. Prices in the state have been zooming up, rising 13% year over year, at one of the fastest clips in the nation.

The rest of the worst states for working mothers were Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, South Carolina, Mississippi, West Virginia, Georgia, Wyoming, and Texas.

Professional opportunities, work-life balance, and the ever-pressing need for child care shouldn't be taken lightly for working mothers considering making big moves.

"Child care is a huge issue," says Summit, NJ–based clinical psychologist Ilyse Dobrow DiMarco, who specializes in motherhood issues. "Particularly in the early years, it's so vital for moms to feel the kids are being taken care of if they want to prioritize both their careers and their kids."

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