10 best states for raising children
Good parenting is without doubt the biggest determinant of whether children are raised well, but it helps to have the support and resources of a good local environment.
To help parents get a feel for where they might expect to find the best locations for their families, MoneyRates.com has taken a quantitative approach to determine the best U.S. states for raising children.
How we determined the top 10
The MoneyRates.com analysis looked at four categories of factors which contribute to the environment in which children grow up:
- Violent crime. Keeping your kids safe is likely to be your first priority, so MoneyRates.com looked at U.S. Census Bureau data on the number of violent crimes by state.
- Academic performance. Outside of the home, school probably has the most influence on a child's development. MoneyRates.com looked at data from the National Center for Education Statistics on eighth-grade performance levels in math, reading, science and writing.
- Cost of college. The opportunity to attend college is a key determinant of what kind of career and future a child will have. MoneyRates.com ranked states according to College Board data on the affordability of two- and four-year public colleges for in-state residents.
- General cost of living. Raising a child is expensive; just how expensive depends in part on the cost of living in your state. To account for this, MoneyRates.com factored ACCRA Cost of Living data into the analysis.
Based on these four factors, here are the 10 best states for raising children.