Fri, Jan 13, 2023 5:23 AM
By J.D. Davidson, The Center Square
Ohio ranks in the bottom half of states in terms of best places to raise a family, according to a recently released report.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, put together the state rankings based on 51 indicators of family-friendliness, ranging from median annual family income to housing affordability and unemployment rates. Its report said the ideal city is one that’s affordable to live in during this time of high inflation but also offers quality schools, health care and entertainment.
Ohio fell short, ranking 31st overall.
“Social supports, including funding for public schools, child care, and public transportation are all important things to consider when choosing a place to live. Research has demonstrated that children from families with the same resources do better if they live in places where they have access to these public amenities,” said Lauren Jones, associate professor of human sciences at the Ohio State University.
The Buckeye State did rank high in family fun (16th) and affordability (15th), but fell short in health and safety (28th) and education and child care (36th).
In terms of affordable housing, Ohio was the fifth-best in the nation.
“Ohio is fairly affordable and ranks high for family fun. However, there are several areas where it needs improvement,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said. “For example, looking at health care, the state has a high infant mortality rate and low life expectancy at birth. Air pollution is also a significant issue here. In terms of socioeconomics, the state has high unemployment, low job security and satisfaction, and a high foreclosure rate, which are important factors in deciding where to start and raise a family."
The report ranked Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota and Vermont as the top five states to raise a family. The bottom five included Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Louisiana and South Carolina.