The best & worst states to raise a family – see where Ohio ranks

(Ohio) – Raising a healthy, stable family is an important priority for many, but is Ohio the ideal place to achieve that goal?

WalletHub took a comparison of the 50 50 states across 52 key indicators of family friendliness. They focused on areas from the median annual family income to housing affordability to the unemployment rate and even access to family fun. Additionally, the report also takes into account coronavirus-related metrics as well including weekly positive test results and COVID-19 death rates.

Source: WalletHub

Overall, Minnesota received the highest-ranking and New Mexico rounded out the nation at 50th on the list overall. As for Ohio, with an overall average score of 45.71, Ohio fell into the second half of the list at number 30. In terms of health & safety, Ohio ranked 29th and 35th for education and childcare opportunities. The Buckeye state did land in the top 20 though for family fun (15th) and affordability (13th).

However, Ohio only landed in the top five rankings in one of 16 specific categories observed.

Methodology

In order to determine the best states to raise a family, WalletHub compared the 50 states across five key dimensions: 1) Family Fun, 2) Health & Safety, 3) Education & Child Care, 4) Affordability, and 5) Socio-economics.

We evaluated those dimensions using 52 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for family life.

Finally, we determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states.

Family Fun – Total Points: 20

  • Share of Families with Young Children: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
    Note: “Young Children” includes the population aged 0 to 17.
  • Number of Attractions: Triple Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Who Live in Neighborhoods with a Park or Playground: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Health & Safety – Total Points: 20

  • COVID-19 Weekly Positive Testing Rate: Triple Weight (~2.93 Points)
  • COVID-19 Weekly Death Rate: Triple Weight (~2.93 Points)
  • Share of Uninsured Children: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
    Note: “Children” includes the population aged 0 to 18.
  • Pediatricians per Capita: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Number of Children’s Hospitals per Total Number of Children Aged 0 to 17: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Quality of Public Hospitals: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on public-hospital ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Infant-Mortality Rate: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Life Expectancy at Birth: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Number of Climate Disasters Causing $1 Billion+ in Damages in Past Decades: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Air Pollution: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Water Quality: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Violent Crimes per Capita: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Property Crimes per Capita: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Share of Children Aged 6 to 17 Who Go to Safe Schools: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
  • Safety Ranking of Roads Around School: Half Weight (~0.49 Points)
    Note: School safety scores and rankings are based on unsafe driving events detected by the Zendrive platform within school areas.
  • Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Who Live in Supportive Neighborhoods: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
    Note: Supportive neighborhoods are neighborhoods where people help each other out, watch out for each other’s children and know where to go for help in the community.
  • Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Living with Parents Who Have Support: Full Weight (~0.98 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to children whose parents have someone to turn to for day-to-day emotional support with parenting or raising children.

Education & Child Care – Total Points: 20

  • Quality of Public Schools: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Best & Worst School Systems” ranking.
  • Public High School Graduation Rate: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Child Day-Care Services per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Day-Care Quality: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Child-Care Costs: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the median family income.
  • Parental Leave: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on parental-leave policy scores from the National Partnership for Women & Families.
  • Number of Childcare Workers per Total Number of Children: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Share of Children Aged 6 to 17 Who Participate in School Extracurricular Activities: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Share of Children Aged 6 to 17 Who Participate in Community Service or Volunteer Work: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)

Affordability – Total Points: 20

  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Housing Costs (accounts for both rental and sale prices) / Median Annual Family Income.
  • Median Credit Score: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Median Mortgage Debt: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the median amount of mortgage debt per adult, as share of median earnings.
  • Median Non-Mortgage Debt: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the median amount of non-mortgage debt per adult, as share of median earnings.
  • Share of People Who Save Money for their Children’s College Education: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
  • Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Whose Family Had Problems Paying Medical Bills: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to children whose family had problems paying for the children’s medical or health care bills during the past 12 months.
  • Paid Family Leave: Double Weight (~3.64 Points)
  • Retirement Access & Participation: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
    Note: “Retirement” refers to employer-based plans only.
  • Median Annual Family Income: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Average Annual Family Health Insurance Premium: Full Weight (~1.82 Points)

Socio-economics – Total Points: 20

  • Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Median Duration of Current Marriage: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Share of Two-Parent Families: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Wealth Gap: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Share of Families Living in Poverty: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Share of Families Receiving Food Stamps: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: (Number of Employees in 2019 – Number of Employees in 2018) / Number of Employees in 2018.
  • Job Opportunities: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Number of Job Openings per Number of Population in Labor Force Minus Unemployed Rate.
  • Job Satisfaction Score: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)

 

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