mom and kidsNew Jersey is the best state for single parents to raise children, a new study finds. Leading states for worse includes Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and surrounding southern states, see list below, which offer the least support and financial security for single parents.

Best States for Single Parents to Raise Children

  1. New Jersey
    Median Household Income: $72,093 (third-highest in the nation)
    State Support: Expanded Medicaid, earned-income tax credit and paid family leave program
  2. Rhode Island
    Median Household Income: $56,852
    State Support: Expanded Medicaid, earned-income tax credit and paid family leave program
  3. Michigan
    Average home listing price and grocery costs are among the lowest in the nation
    State Support: Expanded Medicaid and earned-income tax credit
  4. Washington
    No state income tax allows single parents to keep more of their pay
    State Support: Expanded Medicaid, earned-income tax credit and paid family leave program (effective 2019)
  5. Illinois
    Fourth-lowest employee contribution amount for employer-sponsored family health coverage
    State Support: Expanded Medicaid and earned-income tax credit

Worst States for Single Parents to Raise Children

  1. Florida
    Low median household income: $47,507
    Does not offer single-parent support systems*
  2. Mississippi
    Lowest median household income in the nation: $39,665
    Does not offer single-parent support systems
  3. Alabama
    Fourth-highest family health coverage costs: $5,606
    Does not offer single-parent support systems
  4. South Carolina
    Ninth-lowest median household income: $45,483
    Does not offer single-parent support systems
  5. North Carolina
    10th-lowest median household income: $46,868
    Does not offer single-parent support systems

*Single-parent support systems include expanded Medicaid, an earned-income tax credit or a guaranteed paid family leave program.

In order to determine which states are best for single-parent support, personal finance website GOBankingRates analyzed eight key factors in 50 U.S. states:

  • Each state’s median household income
  • Average home listing price
  • Average cost of groceries for a family
  • Average employee contribution amount for employer-sponsored family health insurance
  • Annual childcare costs for an infant and 4-year-old
  • Whether the state offers a paid family leave insurance program
  • Whether the state offers an earned-income tax credit on top of the federal credit
  • Whether the state has adopted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act

 

Additional Study Insights

  • Only three U.S. states offer paid family leave: New Jersey, Rhode Island and California. Washington and New York will join the list of states that offer paid family leave by 2019.
  • Michigan offers the lowest employee contribution amount for family health coverage of any state.
  • Only 19 states have yet to expand Medicaid to give more low-income families access to health coverage.

For full study results and more details on methodology, visit: Best and Worst States for Single Parents to Raise a Family

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Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins is a writer mom, nurse and a community volunteer. She is the author of various articles about home and family life and has been featured in parenting magazines and newspapers.
Greta Jenkins
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