SALT LAKE CITY — Utah isn’t one of the best states to have a baby, according to a new WalletHub report released this week.
The Beehive State ranked as the 12th best state in the country in which to have a baby, ranking above Hawaii, Iowa and Rhode Island within the top 15.
Vermont topped the list, with Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and North Dakota rounding out the top five.
Connecticut, Colorado, Nebraska, the District of Columbia and California all made the top 10.
On the other end, Mississippi finished as the worst state in which to give birth to a baby, securing low rankings for its health care, baby-friendliness and family-friendliness.
WalletHub ranked all states on four categories: cost, health care, baby-friendliness and family-friendliness. It used 26 different measures to compare each state, including such data as hospital conventional-delivery charges, annual average infant-care costs and pediatricians per capita.
The report hoped to show those having a baby that there’s more at play than just the cost of giving birth.
“Birthing costs, however, won’t hit your wallet as badly in some states as they will in others. Expenses can vary significantly, considering the wide disparities in cost of living,” according to WalletHub. “They can also differ from one pregnancy to another, given that some women experience delivery complications. But there’s more to think about than just cost. Some states provide better quality health care service and better environments in which to care for children.”
Utah ranked among the top five states for having the lowest hospital cesarean-delivery charges. But, it also had the second-fewest child care centers per capita, according to the report.
Overall, Utah ranked as the 24th state in terms of cost and the 17th state for its health care options for those having a baby.
But the state did rank as the 10th-best state in the union for baby-friendliness. The Beehive State ranked 16th for its family-friendliness, though.
In July a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Utah as the sixth-best state in the country for child well-being, according to the Deseret News.
The Beehive State ranked first in the country for its family and community, which mainly ranked states on teenage birth rate, the amount of single-parent families and how many children live in poverty.
"(The findings are) really kind of a reflection on that fact that we have a relatively low percentage of children living in poverty in general," Terry Haven, deputy director of advocacy group Voices for Utah Children, told the Deseret News.