The 15 best US states for working mums

Mike Lawrie / Getty ImagesSee which states topped the list.
  • This Mother’s Day, learn more about which states in the US are the best about supporting working mums.
  • Vermont topped WalletHub‘s 2018 rankings of the best states for working mums.
  • The rankings weighed factors like the gender wage gap and childcare costs.

Mother’s Day is here, which means that people across the US will be taking some time to celebrate their mums.

Personal finance site WalletHub decided to get in on the act by crunching the numbers to determine which states provide the best environments for working mothers.

Working mums must juggle the responsibilities of both motherhood and the professional world. It’s certainly no easy feat, but policies and work norms in some states make it a bit easier.

To find the best states for mums who work outside the home, WalletHub assigned each US state and Washington DC a score based on numerous factors, including women’s median annual salary adjusted for the cost of living, daycare quality, the gender pay gap, childcare costs adjusted for the median women’s salary, and the female unemployment rate. The rankings also assigned each state a parental leave policy score, based on this 2016 study from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

To read more about the study’s methodology, check out the full report here.

Here are the top 15 states for working mothers:


15. Indiana has a high number of nationally accredited childcare centres

Jonathan Ferrey / Stringer / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US40,070

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 17.37%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.5 hours

Parental leave ranking: 34

Indiana has the second highest share of nationally accredited childcare centres out of all 50 states and Washington DC.


14. Wisconsin has strong schools

Tom Pennington / Stringer / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US39,838

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 23.67%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.3 hours

Parental leave ranking: 16

Wisconsin’s high quality day cares and schools launch the Badger State to the 14th spot on the list.


13. California has one of the lowest gender pay gaps

Thearon W. Henderson / Stringer / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US30,020

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 20.46%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.5 hours

Parental leave ranking: 1

California has one of the lowest gender pay gaps on the list. The Golden State also has the best parental leave policy in the country, according to WalletHub.


12. Oregon women enjoy one of the shortest average work weeks in the country

Craig Mitchelldyer / Stringer / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US31,811

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 19.39%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 34.4 hours

Parental leave ranking: 8

The Pacific Northwest state has one of the shortest work weeks on the list, coming in second with an average of 34.4 hours.


11. North Dakota is tied with Vermont to have the lowest female employment rate in the US

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US37,188

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 18.82%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 36 hours

Parental leave ranking:

The Midwestern state has the second-highest number of childcare workers per 1,000 children under the age of 14. North Dakota is also tied with Vermont to have the lowest female employment rate in the US.


10. New York has the highest quality day cares

Stephanie Keith / Stringer / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US32,966

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 23.93%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.9 hours

Parental leave ranking: 3

The Empire State boasts the highest quality day cares on the list, along with one of the lowest gender pay gaps (coming in at 86.2%).


9. Delaware has quite a lot of pediatricians

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US39,164

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 17.91%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 36.2 hours

Parental leave ranking: 20

Delaware places third when it comes to number of pediatricians per 100,000 residents. It also came in seventh in the category of day care quality.


8. New Jersey has quality school systems

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US38,136

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 19.13%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.8 hours

Parental leave ranking: 7

The Garden State received a boost in the rankings from its top-notch schools, coming in second in the category of school-system quality.


7. Maine has a favourable ratio of female-to-male executives

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US34,514

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 19.16%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.2 hours

Parental leave ranking: 14

These rankings put the Pine Tree State’s ratio of female to male executives at an impressive 67.73%.


6. Rhode Island has a high number of pediatricians

Handout/Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US32,184

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 24.58%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 34.7 hours

Parental leave ranking: 4

The smallest state in the US places sixth due to its generous parental leave policies and high number of pediatricians.


5. Connecticut has a comparatively lower share of families in poverty

John Moore/Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US36,239

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 22.43%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.1 hours

Parental leave ranking: 5

Excellent schools and generous parental leave policies propel Connecticut to fifth place on WalletHub’s list. It also has the sixth lowest share of families living in poverty in the US.


4. DC has the most nationally accredited child care centres

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US37,305

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 26.06%

Average length of a woman’s work week:

Parental leave ranking: 2

The capital of the US has the fourth lowest gender pay gap in the rankings and the second best parental leave policies. It also has the most nationally accredited child care centres in the US.


3. Massachusetts has some of the best schools in the country

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US36,467

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 25.19%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 34.9 hours

Parental leave ranking: 10

The most populous New England state receives a first-place ranking in school quality, and features a slightly shorter work week for women than most of the states on the list.


2. Minnesota has the highest median women’s salary (adjusted for inflation)

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US44,281

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 17.98%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.3 hours

Parental leave ranking: 12

This Midwestern state benefits from the highest median women’s salary (adjusted for inflation). It also has a high share of nationally accredited child care centres.


1. Vermont has one of the lowest female unemployment rates in the US

Median women’s salary (adjusted for the cost of living): $US40,642

Childcare costs (adjusted for the median women’s salary): 19.05%

Average length of a woman’s work week: 35.10 hours

Parental leave ranking: 9

The Green Mountain State took the top spot yet again. Vermont offers working mums the highest number of per 100,000 residents, the lowest gender pay gap, and the lowest female unemployment rate in the US.

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