Best States for Working Dads 2022


In the 1960s, 75% of American families relied on a single source of income -  overwhelmingly coming from the paternal member of the household.

Today, nearly 70% of married mothers work, and families increasingly rely on two forms of income as both mothers and fathers head back to work – 93.5% of married fathers work, but the gap between working mothers and fathers is closing.

These changes towards a reliance on two incomes and a split in parental duties have been fueled by the global pandemic, making work from home more common and placing parents in a position where work and childrearing happen simultaneously.

However, not all parents, or specifically working dads, have the same opportunities to work from home.  State-by-state quality of life drastically alters parents' ability to work and raise their children.

In order to determine the best U.S. state for fathers who take on the dual role of childrearing and financial provider, WalletHub compared the 50 states and D.C. across 23 indicators of friendliness towards working fathers.

The data accounts for everything from the average length of the work day to child-care costs to the state of men’s health in the region.


1 Massachusetts 69.53 3 1 3 4
2 Minnesota 65.12 1 14 1 2
3 District of Columbia 64.79 4 5 9 7
4 Connecticut 64.39 6 10 6 3
5 New Jersey 61.22 7 11 13 13
6 Rhode Island 61.00 29 2 7 8
7 Wisconsin 58.99 8 15 10 15
8 New Hampshire 58.66 2 24 5 19
9 Vermont 57.95 27 9 8 14
10 Illinois 57.91 15 20 2 20

*Rank, State, total score, economic & social well-being, work-life balance, & health score, respectively.

The rankings were calculated through several measures including:

Economic & Social Well-Being – factoring median family income, the share of working men living with economic security, unemployment rates for dads with kids ages 0 to 17, the share of kids 0 to 17 living in poverty, and the average freshman graduation rate for men.

  1. Minnesota
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Massachusetts
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Virginia

Work-Life Balance – factoring best states to work from home, parental-leave policy score, average time spent on child care for men, the average length of the work day for men, and average commute time for men.

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Washington
  4. California
  5. District of Columbia

Child Care – factoring day-care quality, child-care costs, pediatricians per capita, quality of state school system, the share of nationally accredited child care centers, and number of childcare workers per child under age 14.

  1. Minnesota
  2. Illinois
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. New Hampshire

Health – male uninsured rate, men’s life expectancy, male suicide rate, male mental health, the share of men in good or better health, the share of physically active men, unaffordability of doctor’s visits.

  1. Hawaii
  2. Minnesota
  3. Connecticut
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York

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