Minnesota is the second-best state to raise a family, WalletHub says

A new study looks at which states are the best – and the worst – for families.

If you're looking to put down roots and raise a family, Minnesota is one of the best places in the country to do it.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes ranked as the second-best state to raise a family in 2018 in a recent study by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Researchers compared the 50 states across 42 key indicators of family-friendliness, from median family salary to housing affordability and unemployment rate.

Massachusetts was named the best, with an overall score of 63.37 on a 100-point scale. Minnesota came in right behind, earning 62.46 points.

Meanwhile Santa Fe may make a great vacation spot, but according to the study, New Mexico is a poor place to raise a family – it came in at dead last with only 32.68 points.

So what makes Minnesota so great for kids and their parents, according to WalletHub?

Affordability: Our state's affordability was a major factor in its high ranking. 

The study found Minnesota has the highest median family salary (adjusted for cost of living) in the country and is tied with North Dakota for the third-lowest percentage of families in poverty. 

We also ranked in the top 10 for housing affordability.

Health and safety: Minnesota scored high in the health and safety category for having low rates of violent crime (ninth for fewest violent crimes per capita) and infant mortality (15th-lowest rate in the country). 

Education and child care: Minnesota ranked as the 16th-best for child care costs, which leaves room for improvement, but is still above average.

Family fun: Minnesota has the ninth-highest percentage of families with young children in the country.

Socio-economics: And socio-economics came into play, with Minnesota praised for its low separation and divorce rate (fourth-best in the country) and a relatively low unemployment rate (12th-lowest).

Gov. Dayton responds

After the study was released Monday, Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement highlighting Minnesota's offerings.

“Minnesota’s great schools, excellent quality of life, and good work opportunities are some of the reasons why we have been rated the second-best state for families,” Dayton said, before joking that the study didn't get everything right.

“But the report got one thing wrong: no other state holds a candle to Minnesota!" he added.

Dayton's office pointed out that this study is just the latest top ranking for Minnesota in recent years. Just last month, it was named the best-run state in America.

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