There are more fathers in America who are catching up to working mothers and are taking an active role in their child’s life, according to the Pew Research Center. And when you’re both a parent and a provider, you must learn how to tightly balance your career and the needs of your child.
This search for work-life balance is applying to more and more dads. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 93% of dads in 2017 who have children younger than 18 are employed. But 52% of working dads said it is difficult for them to balance work and family life.
WalletHub’s new study on the best and worst places for working dads to live wants to make this search a little easier. Using 22 metrics working dads would be interested in —including unemployment rates for working dads, men’s life expectancies, childcare costs— analysts evaluated all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
While WalletHub’s study on the best places for working moms found Vermont to be the best state for motherhood, the study on working fatherhood came to a different conclusion using overlapping but also distinct metrics for dads.
Here’s what they found.
Connecticut is the best state
The best state for working dads overall is Connecticut, followed by Minnesota and Vermont.
Connecticut ranked high in all of the categories: eighth in economic and social wellbeing, fourth in work-life balance, and sixth in childcare. When it came to the percentage of children 18 years and under who are living in poverty with their fathers, Connecticut had the third lowest number.
“Connecticut also offers a good work-life balance, with the 5th best parental-leave policy, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families score,” WalletHub analyst, Jill Gonzalez, told Ladders. “It has some the 3rd best school systems in the country and the 6th most pediatricians at 17.5 per 100,000 residents.”
And if Dads wanted to live to see their children grow old, they improved their chances by moving to this New England state. According to Gonzalez, Connecticut had the highest male life expectancy in the U.S. at almost 79 years.
Mississippi is the worst state
Meanwhile, wherever Connecticut did well, Mississippi did poorly. It ranked 45th in the economic wellbeing category judging unemployment rates and family income— but where it really failed was in the health metrics, where the state ranked last.
Out of all the areas ranked, Mississippi had the lowest childcare costs but it also had the lowest life expectancy for men.
“Males in Mississippi have the second highest heart disease mortality rate at 269 per 100,000 men, as well as the second highest number of colon and rectal cancer cases at 60 for every 100,000 men,” Gonzalez said. “Therefore, it’s not surprising that according to the Social Science Research Council, Mississippi has a male life expectancy of just 71.9 years, the lowest in the country.”
Being a good father means being present, physically and mentally, for children’s milestones. Based on WalletHub’s metrics, the best place to do that is Connecticut.