When it comes to raising a family, South Dakota isn't the best place in America, but it's not too far from the top.

The Mount Rushmore State is eleventh overall in WalletHub's annual ranking of the 50 states, missing the top ten by two one-hundredths of a point.

The website uses key indicators to generate point totals in four equally-weighted categories, with 80 being the maximum score in:

  • Family Fun
  • Health & Safety
  • Education & Child Care
  • Affordability

South Dakota landed in the tenth spot in both the health and safety and the education and child care categories. The state's number-two overall ranking in child care costs helped bolster that number.

The two biggest factors keeping the state of out of the top ten overall were a ranking of 24th in affordability and 33rd in family fun.

Top-ranked Minnesota was third in health and safety, sixth in education and child care, 12th in family fun, and 13th in affordability to edge Massachusetts by less than half a point. The Bay State actually ranked in the top ten in three categories (fourth in health and safety, fourth in education and child care, and eighth in family fun) but was held back with a 20th ranking in affordability.

Source: WalletHub


(Overall score out of 80 possible points)

  1. Minnesota - 63.71
  2. Massachusetts - 63.22
  3. North Dakota - 62.40
  4. Vermont - 61.09
  5. New Hampshire - 60.94
  6. New York - 60.71
  7. New Jersey - 59.12
  8. Nebraska - 58.02
  9. Connecticut - 56.76
  10. Washington - 56.39
  11. South Dakota - 56.37

New Mexico (30.68) ranked as the worst state to raise a family followed by Mississippi (31.88), Louisiana (36.35), West Virginia (36.57), and Alabama (36.78).

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