Florida

Florida has the sun and fun. But it’s not so hot for families

Florida has great beaches and warm winter weather, but it places near the bottom in best and worst states for raising a family.
Florida has great beaches and warm winter weather, but it places near the bottom in best and worst states for raising a family. cjuste@miamiherald.com

Florida has great beaches, wonderful winter weather and majestic palms. But when it comes down to family friendliness, the Sunshine States isn’t so hot. At least not according to a study by WalletHub.

The personal finance website analysts ranked each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 40 key indicators of family-friendliness. These included factors from “median family salary” to “housing affordability” to “unemployment rate.” Analysts wanted to determine the best states in which to put down family roots

Florida placed 40th in the overall ranking in the study, “2017’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family.”

Here are the details, with 25 being average and one being best:

▪  45th in child care costs (adjusted for median family income)

▪ 27th in infant mortality rate

▪ 40th in median family salary (adjusted for cost of living)

▪ 40th in violent-crime rate

▪ 34th in families below poverty level

▪ 42nd in housing affordability

▪ 29th in unemployment rate

▪ 49th in divorce rate

▪ 37th in two-parent families

▪ 50th in the percentage of families with kids.

WalletHub decided to do the analysis to help families see how a prospective move to a state might help in providing a healthy, stable home life. No one state was perfect, according to the report, as "wants and needs don’t always align in a particular state, which might offer, for instance, a low income-tax rate yet subpar education system. Consequently, a family must make unnecessary sacrifices — the kinds that are easily avoided by knowing which states offer the best combination of qualities that matter most to parents and their kids.”

If it’s any consolation to Florida families, the top 10 states are all cold-weather states populated with parents probably shoveling out from under piles of snow this very minute. North Dakota was No. 1, followed in order by New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Iowa, Connecticut and South Dakota.

New Mexico was at the very bottom.

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