NJ a pretty good state for having a baby, report finds
Americans pay some of the highest birthing costs in the world — does that get compounded in New Jersey, where the cost of living is notoriously high, period?
Personal finance website WalletHub has released its 2019 "Best and Worst States to Have a Baby."
Analyst Jill Gonzalez said WalletHub looked at 30 metrics across cost, healthcare accessibility and baby- and overall family-friendliness (which ranges from hospital delivery charges to the annual average infant care costs to the number of pediatricians per capita).
New Jersey did not crack the top 10, but Gonzalez said it did rank in the top half of the list, coming in at No. 17 overall. However, New Jersey is in the top 10 when it comes to overall baby and family friendliness. It has great pre-natal care access and great birth rates, Wallethub said. There are a lot mom groups per capita and decent parental leave policy scores.
"But when it comes to costs, like most other things in New Jersey, it is expensive," Gonzalez said.
The Garden State is tied with California with having the highest hospital cesarean section delivery charges as well as conventional delivery charges in the country. That's about $10,000 more than average, Gonzalez said.
Healthcare is also a big concern, she said. More women hospitals or hospitals known for being women-friendly would be very helpful in New Jersey, she said. Gonzalez thinks improving in this area could help launch New Jersey into the top 10 on the list.
In Pennsylvania, there are top notch facilities and pediatrician neo-natal facilities. But this is an area where New Jersey continues to struggle, Gonzalez said.
Vermont was ranked the best state to have a baby, followed by Massachusetts, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Minnesota. Mississippi is the worst state to have a baby, coming in dead last at number 51. That's followed by Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
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