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Parents at Work

This region of the country is where working parents have it best

Well, Tammy Duckworth may have just become the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office, but in most offices across America, there are many working parents.

According to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center, almost half of all U.S. homes include two full-time working parents. In 1970 this number was only 31%.

A two-working-parent household is a norm now, but there are certain cities where working parents fare better according to a new analysis by SmartAsset.

They compared cities by looking at unemployment rates, median household incomes, median housing costs, average commute time, overtime, state family leave policies and costs of childcare. So where are working parents thriving the most? Well, not on the East Coast that’s for sure. Not one East Coast city made the cut, mostly due to high costs of living, including childcare costs and housing costs. Newton, Mass., was the highest ranking East Coast city, coming in at a lowly 124th place out of the535 cities reviewed for the study.

The middle of the country is favorable to working parents, and if you live in Iowa, you are especially doing well, as two cities (Iowa City and Ames) made it into the Top 10. Ames came in at No. 1, boosted by having the lowest unemployment rate and only 44% of workers work more than 49 weeks per year. A schedule like that provides ample time for family vacation and just a stable work-life balance.

Utah, which nabbed three Top 10 spots, was led by Provo, which took second place overall thanks to it being safer than 85% of the cities looked at in the study and its affordability. Santa Clara was the only city from a coastal state to make the Top 10 as parents there have a chance to make impressive salaries.

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