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Mississippi is the worst state to have a baby in the U.S., study finds

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Photo by Hasan Sami Bolak CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3097197

Having a baby is an expensive proposition. A normal delivery without complications averages about $10,000 in the U.S., according to the Economist magazine, among the highest costs in the world. Counting care before and after delivery triples that cost to a whopping $30,000. Even with insurance, most new parents pay thousands in out-of-pocket costs.

But cost isn’t the only factor to consider when looking for the ideal place to have and raise your baby.

A new WalletHub study found that Mississippi boasts the lowest average annual infant-care costs in the nation.

Unfortunately, the state also has the highest infant-mortality rate: In 2017, there were 8.6 deaths per 1000 live births in Mississippi, compared to 3.7 deaths in Massachusetts, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Overall, the Magnolia State comes in dead last as the worst place in the nation to have a baby—51st of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

WalletHub ranked the states across four key dimensions: cost, health care, baby friendliness and family friendliness. Within those broad categories, the study examined 30 metrics, from low birth weight and preterm births to the number of child-care centers per capita and food insecurity for babies.

Mississippi ranked 48th for the fewest number of midwives and OB/GYNs per capita, for example, adding to its dismal last place for health-care. It ranked 49th for family friendliness and 43rd for baby friendliness.

Joining Mississippi as the five worst states to have a baby are Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

At the top of the list is Vermont, followed by Massachusetts, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Minnesota.

To see all of the study results, visit the WalletHub website.

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