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

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


    Image via Africa Studio/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via oliveromg/Shutterstock

    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.

    More from The Stir: 8 Reasons Being a Working Mom Is Good for Your Kid

  • #3 Best State for Working Moms: Connecticut


    Image via Stasique/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Anneka/Shutterstock

    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.)

    More from The Stir: 10 Hardest Moments for Working Moms

  • #6 Best State for Working Moms: Illinois


    Image via Frank Gaertner/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

    "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


    Image via gpointstudio/Shutterstock

    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.

    More from The Stir: 7 Things Never to Say to a Working Mom

  • #9 Best State for Working Moms: Kansas


    Image via bbernard/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Creativa Images/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via

    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.

    More from The Stir: 14 Moms Share the Truth About Returning to Work After Baby

  • #9 Worst State for Working Moms: Georgia


    Image via Ahuli Labutin/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Africa Studio/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

    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.

    More from The Stir: 13 Maternity Leave Horror Stories From Working Moms

  • #6 Worst State for Working Moms: Arizona


    Image via Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via luna4/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Olimpik/Shutterstock

    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.

    More from The Stir: Sob! This Video Tells Working Moms Exactly What We Need to Hear

  • #3 Worst State for Working Moms: South Carolina


    Image via NotarYES/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

    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


    Image via CREATISTA/Shutterstock

    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.

    More from The Stir: How Working Moms Should Really Spend Their Weekends If They Want to Get Ahead

moms working moms

More Slideshows