With the average birth costing over $3,000 for mothers with insurance, WalletHub, a personal finance website, has released its report on “2022’s Best and Worst States to Have a Baby.”

To determine the ideal places for parents and their newborns, WalletHub compared all 50 states and Washington D.C. across 32 key metrics of having a baby, including cost, health care accessibility, and baby and family friendliness.

New Jersey ranked in the top 15 states to have a baby, at number 15, said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst.

The Garden State ranks as one of the most expensive places to have a baby including the actual birthing charges, as well as health care and raising a child, Gonzalez said.

However, New Jersey is one of the safest and healthiest states in the country to give birth and raise a baby, she added.

“New Jersey has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the country. It has a lot of midwives and OBGYNs per capita, so you have more options and better options as well. It has a very low maternal mortality rate,” Gonzalez said.

In fact, the Garden State has the most obstetricians and gynecologists (per 100,000 residents), 23, which is 11.5 times more than in Kansas, the fewest, at two.

In terms of baby friendliness in New Jersey, mom groups per capita, child care centers, and the birth rates have all very high numbers in the state right now, Gonzalez said.

But there can always be room for improvement, and in New Jersey, it all comes down to cost. It’s super expensive to give birth in New Jersey, be it the conventional way or via C-section.

The average annual cost of early child care is very high, as well as health insurance premiums.

“But there is this idea that you get what you pay for because the health care system is top-notch,” Gonzalez said.

New York beats New Jersey on this list, ranking the 12th best state to have a baby. Pennsylvania doesn’t fare too badly, coming in at number 20.

Massachusetts is the best state in the U.S. to have a baby. Vermont is second best followed by Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. South Carolina is the worst place in the country to have a baby followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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