North Dakota ranked best state for childbirth, Mississippi ranked worst: report

A new study revealed the top 10 best and worst states for childbirth, based on nine criteria, including the cost of health care and child care, maternal and infant mortality rates, and postpartum expenses — which were determined by data produced by the CDC and the Health Care Cost Institute, among others.

The Birth Injury Lawyers Group, based in Arizona, analyzed all 50 states. Each state received a score ranging from 40 to 100, with a final composite score from 40 to 85, based on the importance of various criteria, in order to evaluate the best and worst states to give birth in 2024.

During a standardized process, including weight evaluation, the study found North Dakota is the best state for childbirth due to its low infant and maternal mortality rates, health care systems and the cost of childbearing.

NORTH DAKOTA MATERNITY HOME FOR CRISIS PREGNANCIES CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH OVER 150 BABIES BORN

The full list of criteria included fertility rate per 1,000 women aged 15-44; infant mortality per 1,000 births; percentage of preterm births; percentage of babies born with low birthweight; maternal mortality rate per 100,000 live births; average out-of-pocket spend per childbirth; annual cost of child care; child care cost percentage for a single-parent household; and child care cost per double-parent household.

North Dakota was ranked the best state for childbearing mothers, according to a recent report. (iStock)

North Dakota received an overall score of 85, the highest score provided by the group.

Utah received a high overall score of 78 for affordable child care and low mortality rates.

South Dakota was tallied with a 73, landing the Mount Rushmore State in third place, due to its affordable child care, moderate infant mortality rate and slightly higher maternal mortality rate.

Mississippi was handed a 40, the worst score among all 50 U.S. states, according to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group report.

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The Magnolia State received low rankings for high infant and maternal mortality rates, despite a high fertility rate, in addition to the elevated cost of health care.

In Mississippi, an individual should expect to pay $216.97 per person for health insurance, according to eHealth Insurance.

Mississippi was ranked the worst state to have a baby in, according to a recent report. (iStock)

South Carolina fell just shy of last place with an overall score of 41.50, according to the report.

The study evaluated data from the CDC to conclude a high infant mortality rate of 7.26 per 1,000 births, and a maternal mortality rate of 32.7 per 100,000 live births in South Carolina, though in March, it was revealed that the number of maternal deaths previously reported by the CDC across the U.S. may be inaccurately rising.

In assessing the World Population Review from 2023, the report concluded that the annual cost of child care in the Palmetto State for a 4-year-old neared $10,000.

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Tennessee shadowed South Carolina with an overall score of 42.13, based on high mortality rates for both mothers and newborns, and the high cost of child care, according to the report.

Parents across the country are struggling to afford elevated child care costs while still maintaining positions in the workforce, and available businesses related to child care have seen a decline since 2020.

The cost of child care in some parts of the U.S. exceeds $15,000 annually, according to the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor. (iStock)

Data collected from 2018, the most recent year presented by the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, showed infant center-based care in large counties in various parts of the U.S. exceeded $15,000 annually.

When adjusted for 2022 inflation, this out-of-pocket expense surpasses $17,000.

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For preschool, infant care and day care in 2020, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, California, Minnesota and Connecticut were the five areas in the U.S. with the highest cost of child care expenses, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

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Both Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts exceeded $20,000 in annual child care costs per child.

Below are the 10 best and worst states for childbirth, as the Birth Injury Lawyers Group ranked them.

Best ranked states for childbirth 

1. North Dakota2. Utah3. South Dakota4. Iowa5. Idaho6. Kansas7. Wyoming8. Delaware9. Missouri10. New Hampshire

Worst ranked states for childbirth

50. Mississippi49. South Carolina48. Tennessee47. West Virginia46. Alabama45. Arkansas44. Louisiana43. North Carolina42. Georgia41. Massachusetts

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Gabriele Regalbuto is an SEO editor at Fox News Digital. Gabriele has a Journalism and Communications degree from West Virginia University. She has worked to produce content for newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. At Fox, she has assisted in coverage of breaking news events including the 2024 presidential cycle, 2022 midterm elections, Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

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