Parents

2015 best and worst states to have a baby: rankings on health care, costs and more

While having a baby is already a significant expense, where you live also matters when it comes to how much that little bundle of joy is going to affect your bank account.

A new study by personal finance social network WalletHub finds that Vermont is the best state in the country to have a baby based on 21 key metrics under the umbrella of budget, health care and baby-friendly environment. Vermont ranks No. 1 in the nation in health care, which takes into account factors like rates of infant mortality and low birth weight, and the number of pediatricians in the state per 100,000 residents.

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Vermont takes the top spot for the second straight year in WalletHub's study. The worst state this year is Mississippi, which ranks last in health care and 29th in baby-friendly environment. North Dakota is the state with the smallest hospital fees for traditional births, while New Mexico is the most expensive. When it comes to Caesarean births, Maryland has the lowest hospital costs, while New Mexico is also the highest in that area.

The highest number of pediatricians per capita can be found in Vermont, while the lowest amount are in New Mexico. However, the state with the lowest annual infant-care cost is Mississippi, while the District of Columbia and Massachusetts are the most expensive.

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Regardless of where you live, having a baby in the United States is more expensive than any other country in the world, according to the International Federation of Health Plans. A conventional delivery at a U.S. hospital costs an average of $10,002, and $15,240 for a C-section, compared to $2,824 for a normal birth in the Netherlands or $2,251 in Spain.

WalletHub's full rankings of best and worst states, including the District of Columbia, to have a baby:

1. Vermont

2. North Dakota

3. Oregon

4. Hawaii

5. Minnesota

6. Kentucky

7. Maine

8. Wyoming

9. Iowa

10. Alaska

11. Connecticut

12. Utah

13. Massachusetts

14. New Hampshire

15. Arizona

16. Kansas

17. Virginia

18. Maryland

19. Nebraska

20. Idaho

21. Washington

22. Ohio

23. Michigan

24. Montana

25. Rhode Island

26. Florida

27. Colorado

28. Texas

29. Missouri

30. Oklahoma

31. Illinois

32. Tennessee

33. South Dakota

T-34. District of Columbia

T-34. Wisconsin

36. California

37. New Jersey

38. Indiana

39. Delaware

40. North Carolina

41. New Mexico

42. Arkansas

43. Alabama

44. Georgia

45. Louisiana

46. New York

47. Nevada

48. South Carolina

49. West Virginia

50. Pennsylvania

51. Mississippi

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