Working mothers in the United States have a lot of cards stacked against them: Unlike in Iceland, where the wage gap isn’t even a thing, our fair country still has more in common with the patriarchal setting of The Handmaid’s Tale than I’m comfortable with. Almost half of the US workforce is women, and 70 percent of mothers with young children work, according to WalletHub; and yet the wage gap remains all too real. For those working moms (and future working moms) who want to live in a place that will make their lives as easy and fair as possible, WalletHub compiled a ranking of the best and worst states for working mothers.
Blue states are better for working women with children than red states are. The four best places for working mothers are Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and Connecticut.
WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and Washington, DC, using 15 metrics in three categories: childcare, professional opportunities, and work-life balance. It found that blue states are way better (by, like, more than twice as much) for working women with children than red states are (blue states earned a 15.48 average score, and red states earned 33.37—the lower the score, the better). The four best places for working mothers are Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and Connecticut; the five least hospitable states are South Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, Louisiana, and Idaho.
Having an incredible day-care system didn’t seem to play an important role in determining the best states for working mothers (none of the top five ranking states also had the highest number of child-care locations), but having the worst seemed to have a detrimental impact on a state’s ranking (Alabama, Louisiana, and Idaho made the list of states with the worst).
The severity of the gender pay gap also has a perplexing relationship to how accommodating a state is to working mothers. Though Vermont, ranked the best state for working moms, and DC have some of the lowest gender pay gaps, Connecticut, also in the top five, ranked among the states with the most severe pay gap—not to mention that it ranked as 46 in the category for professional opportunities.
But, regardless of where you live and work, chances are that the mothers around you could use a little extra love and support this Mother’s Day (and always).
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