Raising a family is no small — or cheap — feat: A child today can cost $233,610 for a middle-class family, and that doesn’t even include college, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Of course, for families looking to lessen the financial burden, the cost can vary drastically by state. Still, there are trade-offs for new parents: Some states that are cheaper for raising a family may not rank the highest in terms of education and child care, or health and safety.
New Jersey nabbed the spot as the most affordable state in the country, according to a new report from WalletHub, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Garden State’s median family income was $97,300 in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, well above the national median family income of $73,891. It has the third-highest national median family salary, the study found.
However, in terms of health and safety — which evaluates a number of factors, including infant-mortality rate, violent crimes per capita, water quality and share of uninsured children — New Jersey ranked lower than some of its peers at 15th.
Rhode Island trailed New Jersey in terms of affordability — the state’s national median income is $63,870 —but was ranked eighth in terms of health and safety.
All of the factors included in the affordability ranking were: housing affordability, median credit score, median mortgage debt, median non-mortgage debt, share of people who save money for their children’s college education, share of children aged 0 to 17 whose family had problems paying medical bills; paid family leave; retirement access and participation, median family income and average annual family health insurance premiums.
Behind Rhode Island in affordability was Washington; the state boasts a median family income of $84,594. New York came in fourth place, despite a median family income of $80,114 -- the lowest among all 50 states.
Capping off a number of Northeast states that were among the most affordable for new parents is Connecticut. The state has a median family income of $93,870.