Analysis: Georgia is nation’s 5th worst state to have baby in

WalletHub research places the Peach State at No. 47; 9 of bottom 10 are Southern states

There is a lot of joy that comes with having a baby, but there is also a lot of stress. Babies, after all, are expensive.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average conventional delivery in the U.S. costs more than $3,000 with insurance and more than $10,000 without it.

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There’s more to consider than just the hit to your wallet, however. Some states provide better health care services and better environments in which to care for children.

With that in mind, WalletHub determined 2022′s best places in the U.S. to have a baby. The financial website compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across four key dimensions: cost, health care, baby friendliness and family friendliness.

It then evaluated those dimensions using 32 relevant metrics, with each metric graded on a 100-point scale. A score of 100 represents the most favorable conditions for expectant parents and newborns.

Massachusetts came out on top with a score of 67.84. Compare that to Georgia, which ranked No. 47 with a total score of 35.43.

In each dimension, the Peach State finished:

  • Cost: 28th
  • Health care: 45th
  • Baby friendliness: 48th
  • Family friendliness: 41st

When planning to have a child, parents should consider “the costs of having, feeding, housing and raising children, especially childcare considerations,” Aislinn Conrad, Ph.D., M.S.W. and assistant professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work, told WalletHub. “Parents spend anywhere from 10 to 50% of their household income on childcare, and these costs are rising.”

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Within the 32 key metrics, Georgia finished:

  • Parental leave policy score: 34th
  • Infant mortality rate: 37th
  • Child care centers per capita: 38th
  • Pediatricians and family medicine physicians per capita: 40th
  • Rate of low birth weight: 48th

Nine of the bottom 10 states are in the South; the exception being Nevada at No. 42. South Carolina came in last place with a total score of just 29.07.

The full report can be found on wallethub.com.