Is NJ a good state to have a baby?
With September being one of the most popular months for newborn arrivals in the U.S., WalletHub conducted a study of the best and worst states to have a baby.
Spokesperson Jill Gonzalez said the list was compiled by examining 21 metrics within three main categories: budget considerations, health care quality and baby-friendliness.
Overall, New Jersey ranked 37th nationally, putting it in the bottom-third of states.
Budget cost, where New Jersey finished 48th, weighed down the state's rating, especially the sky-high cost to deliver a baby.
"Just for a C-Section, it was actually the second-highest cost in the country," Gonzalez said. "Same with a conventional delivery charge."
An average C-Section in New Jersey costs $33,000 ($5,238 nationally), while an average conventional delivery is $22,000 ($10,002 nationally).
"It's just interesting to see how much more expensive those services are, to begin with, in New Jersey," Gonzalez said. "When it comes to how much that costs, it really is top-dollar."
The delivery charges are just the tip of the iceberg for new Garden State parents.
"Then you tack on cost-of-living, plus annual infant care, which is running about $10,000 a year in New Jersey right now," she said. "Obviously, more on the expensive side of things."
It was not all negatives for the Garden State, though.
New Jersey received high marks for health care quality (18th) and baby-friendliness (13th).
Some of the state's highlights included: a great number of quality pediatricians and doctors, generous work leave policies, an abundance of child care centers, a large number of fertility clinics and a low infant death rate.
New Jersey ranked ahead of neighboring New York (46th) and Pennsylvania (50th).
Vermont, North Dakota, and Oregon were ranked as the best states to have a baby.