These are the best and worst states for working moms in 2020

Most people are aware that women now make up nearly half of the workforce in the United States, but did you know that in 2019 nearly 70% of women with children under age 18 were working, too?

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s a great time to look at what factors create the best environment for working moms. A new Wallethub study compared metrics across three general dimensions that affect working moms most: child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance. As a result, the study has found the best and worst states for working moms in 2020.

The best and worst states for working mothers

Massachusetts was found to be the best state for working moms in 2020 with a total score of 68.22. The New England state came in first for work-life balance, second for best child-care, and seventh for professional opportunities.

The top 10 areas in the country for working mothers are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Minnesota
  3. Vermont
  4. Connecticut
  5. District of Columbia
  6. New Jersey
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maine
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Wisconsin

Louisiana is the worst state for working moms in 2020, with a total score of 27.57. The southern state came in last for the child-care rank, the second-to-last for professional opportunities rank, and 38th for work-life balance.

The worst 10 states for working mothers in 2020 are:

  1. Lousiana
  2. Mississippi
  3. Alabama
  4. South Carolina
  5. West Virginia
  6. Idaho
  7. Oklahoma
  8. New Mexico
  9. Nevada
  10. Georgia

What makes a state better or worse for a working mother?

In order to determine the best and worst states for working moms, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance.

Those dimensions were evaluated using 17 relevant metrics, with each being graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for working moms.

For the child care dimension, which equaled a total of 40 points, the metrics used were day-care quality, child-care costs, pediatricians per capita, school-system quality, share of nationally accredited child care centers, and number of childcare workers per total number of children.

The states with the best day-care systems are:

  1. New York
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. North Dakota
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Texas

The states with the worst day-care systems are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Lousiana
  3. California
  4. Nebraska
  5. Idaho

The states with the lowest child-care costs are (as % of median women’s income:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Missouri
  3. Arkansas
  4. South Dakota
  5. South Carolina

The states with the highest child-care costs are (as % of median women’s income:

  1. Nebraska
  2. Massachusetts
  3. District of Columbia
  4. New York
  5. Rhode Island

For the professional opportunities dimension, which equaled a total of 30 points, metrics used included the gender pay gap in the state, the ratio of female executives to male executives, the median women’s salary, the share of working women  living with economic security, the share of families in poverty, female unemployment rate, the gender-representation gap in different economic sectors, and finally WalletHub’s “Best States for Working from Home” ranking.

The states with the lowest gender pay gap (women’s earnings as a % of men’s:

  1. California
  2. Maine
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Nevada
  5. Vermont

The states with the highest gender pay gap (women’s earnings as a % of men’s:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Utah
  3. Rhode Island
  4. North Dakota
  5. Alabama

The states with the highest female executive-to-male executive ratio:

  1. District of Columbia
  2. South Dakota
  3. Maine
  4. Vermont
  5. Rhode Island

The states with the lowest female executive-to-male executive ratio:

  1. Utah
  2. South Carolina
  3. Alabama
  4. Mississippi
  5. Texas

For the work-life balance dimension, which equaled a total of 30 points, metrics used included the parental-leave policy score, the average length of a woman’s work week, and the women’s average commute time.

Jennifer Fabiano is an SEO reporter at Ladders.