The 10 Best -- & Worst -- States for Working Moms

little boy hugging his mom

Being both a woman and a mother have never been easy. Between the endless amount of household demands and that annoying gender pay gap, it can be really hard for a mom trying to provide for her family, especially when it comes to working outside the home.

WalletHub's list of the Best & Worst States for Working Moms takes an in-depth look at things like cost-effective child care, income disparity between men and women, and work-life balance opportunities that can make a working mother's life easier -- or even more difficult.

So, where does your state rank?

Let's find out.




Image via Dragon Images/Shutterstock

  • #1 Best State for Working Moms: Vermont


    Consider yourself one lucky gal if you call Vermont home; it's the best state for working moms! Earning the number one spot for overall child care, Vermont also happens to have the fifth-lowest gender pay gaps around (woo hoo), and is among the top five states with the highest number of female executives.

  • #2 Best State for Working Moms: Minnesota


    The North Star State (that's Minnesota in case you didn't know) seems to be a pretty great place for working mothers. Not only can women earn a good salary here, but Minnesota also makes it easier for working moms to turn the concept of work-life balance into a reality.

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  • #3 Best State for Working Moms: Connecticut


    Oh, Connecticut, how you treat working mothers so well. Even though this isn't the number one state for moms who are employed, it is the best for overall work-life balance -- including average commute time for women and parental leave.

  • #4 Best State for Working Moms: North Dakota


    North Dakota might not be on your radar for places to live, but if you're a working mom, you might want to consider it. North Dakota receives high marks for its day care and overall childcare costs (the state has the nation's third best day care system).

  • #5 Best State for Working Moms: Massachusetts


    Rounding out the top five best states for working mothers is Massachusetts. If you can deal with the cold winters, you'll be able to enjoy a state that happens to have the second-highest overall child care rank in the country. (Sounds like a deal.)

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  • #6 Best State for Working Moms: Illinois


    Noted as one of the top 10 states with the best school systems in 2015, working mommies might want to consider Illinois. Not only will you have an opportunity to move up the corporate ladder (assuming that's your thing), but you will also have access to good child care and pediatric services.

  • #7 Best State for Working Moms: Wisconsin


    "America's Dairyland" takes the number seven spot on the list of Best & Worst States for Working Moms. Achieving work-life balance in Wisconsin isn't too hard of a task (it's one of the top 10 places to do so in the US) as most working mamas here are able to create and enjoy a schedule that makes parenting a little easier.

  • #8: Best States for Working Moms: Colorado


    Hey, Colorado, you made it on the list! Not only is this state's overall child care ranked among the top 10 in the country, but Colorado is also a place known for its professional opportunities for working moms.

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  • #9 Best State for Working Moms: Kansas


    Hopefully Dorothy made it back to Kansas after visiting Oz. Assuming she went on to have kids, it's a pretty cool state for working mothers. Kansas receives the fifth highest ranking in the US for overall child care, which is music to any mother's ears. It also doesn't do too badly in the work-life balance and professional opportunity arenas.

  • #10 Best State for Working Moms: New Jersey


    Should you happen to call the Garden State home, there's a good chance your kids will eat their veggies and have access to pretty amazing child care. In 2015, New Jersey ranked the third-highest school system in the country, which only adds to the many reasons why it's a good place for working moms.

  • #10 Worst State for Working Moms: New Mexico


    You would think that a state with the second-highest female executive-to-male executive ratio would be a great place for working moms to live, but New Mexico could use some improvement. While it does receive high praise on the lady CEO front, New Mexico's overall child care ranking is five spots away from being the worst.

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  • #9 Worst State for Working Moms: Georgia


    Even though Georgia doesn't find itself at the top of the list of best states for working moms, the overall child care and professional opportunities rankings for the Peach State aren't the absolute worst. Then again, Georgia is in the top five states with the lowest female executives -- and that isn't exactly promising for working mothers.

  • #8 Worst State for Working Moms: Idaho


    No matter the benefits of living in Idaho -- including pretty good work-life balance and professional opportunities for working mothers -- there's one problem: Idaho has been ranked the worst state for day care systems. Ouch ...

  • #7 Worst State for Working Moms: Mississippi


    Well ... the good news about Mississippi is that it's the number one state that has the lowest child care costs. (That's something, right?) Too bad there are other areas -- like professional opportunities for working moms -- that put it in the top 10 worst states for mommies who work.

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  • #6 Worst State for Working Moms: Arizona


    Arizona isn't exactly the worst state for working moms ... but isn't the best either. In addition to a so-so overall child care ranking, the Grand Canyon State is not very ideal for working moms trying to achieve work-life balance.

  • #5 Worst State for Working Moms: Alaska


    If you're looking for a sometimes chilly place to live with an overall low score in the child care department (second to last to be exact), sadly, Alaska is where you should go.

  • #4 Worst State for Working Moms: Louisiana


    Louisiana might be an awesome place for history, a good meal, and a few drinks ... but working mothers? Not so much. For starters, the Bayou State has the second worst day care system in the country, which isn't something moms really want to hear. Louisiana also receives low marks for professional opportunities -- including median salaries for women and female unemployment.

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  • #3 Worst State for Working Moms: South Carolina


    As much as South Carolina boasts Southern hospitality, it doesn't rank very high as a good place to live for working moms. While the state does have the third lowest child care costs in the US (that's good!), South Carolina also happens to have the third lowest female executive-to-male executive ratio, which is no bueno.

  • #2 Worst State for Working Moms: Alabama


    Oh, sweet Alabama. The Heart of Dixie gets the worst ranking in the country for working mothers on the professional opportunities front. Alabama also happens to be a state with the one of the worst day care systems, has one of the highest gender pay gaps, and is the second-lowest with female executives.

  • #1 Worst State for Working Moms: Nevada


    And finally, Navada. Noted as the worst state for working mothers, Nevada has the second-highest child care costs in the country, which isn't good ... at all.

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