Whether you’re already ensconced in the home you’ve always dreamed of for your family, or are considering a move that will enable you to better provide for them in the coming years, you might want to have a look at the work that GoBankingRates.com has done to rate all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the best (and worst) places for a family to have a richer life.
It’s not just a matter of money, of course.
Safety is a consideration, and the quality of schools, along with whether you can find — and keep — a job, and whether you’ll earn enough at that job to be able to support your family.
If housing’s too expensive, you’re liable to find yourselves in cramped quarters, while the cost of health care can become a major factor — for good or ill.
Related: 15 worst states for retirement: 2016
Groceries? Sales tax? Property tax? All of these can have an inordinate impact on your budget, and your family’s well-being — as can high crime rates or poor access to health insurance.
GoBankingRates took 12 categories of vitally important daily life, divided them into five basic categories, and scored each state (and D.C.) based on how they fared compared to the rest of the country.
Depending on where you live, you might want to consider digging in a little deeper where you are — or moving in search of a more congenial family atmosphere.
Here’s a look at the 10 places in the country that GoBankingRates said fared the worst — and why.
New Mexico offers cheaper housing but a poor job and income score plus a high unemployment rate. (Photo: iStock)
10. New Mexico
Jobs and income score: 14.
Housing score: 81.
Lifestyle score: 52.
Health care score: 53.
Safety score: 47.
The Land of Enchantment won’t be doing much enchanting with the third-worst job and income score in the country, coupled with the third-highest unemployment rate.
It also has higher violent and property crime rates than 90 percent of the country. The state does, however, have the eighth-best housing score and the 10th-lowest property tax rate in the United States.
Florida housing is not unreasonable in price, but its crime rates might blow families’ hopes of a rich life. (Photo: iStock)
Jobs and income score: 36.
Housing score: 68.
Lifestyle score: 53.
Health care score: 35.
Safety score: 49.
Sorry, beachgoers, think about someplace else. While you might find a reasonably priced house, with reasonable property taxes, Florida has one of the worst health care scores on the list, along with high violent and property crime rates and being tied for the worst state on employer contributions to health insurance.
And the median household income is in the bottom quarter of the U.S., at just $47,212.
A chilling fact for families is that Rhode Island has the ninth-highest unemployment rate in the nation. (Photo: iStock)
8. Rhode Island
Jobs and income score: 39.
Housing score: 51.
Lifestyle score: 52.
Health care score: 48.
Safety score: 66.
Small state, big drawbacks. Not only are Rhode Island’s home prices on the high side — 16th highest — but its property taxes are right up there, too, even higher than what you’ll pay for that roof over your head.
Education scores well here, but other things? Not so much: Child care and a whopping 7 percent sales tax — second highest in the country — will eat up your funds.
The state also has the ninth-highest unemployment rate in the nation and one of the lowest health care scores.
Groceries are cheaper in Texas, but the poor health care score and the unemployment rate aren’t helpful to families, especially outside the big cities, such as Dallas, above. (Photo: iStock)
Jobs and income score: 46.
Housing score: 49.
Lifestyle score: 53.
Health care score: 31.
Safety score: 55.
You might not feel all that home on the range in Texas, where high property taxes and low schooling grades will likely not make you feel much like playing.
But you may have the time to, since the state’s unemployment rate isn’t great at 4.5 percent.
The good news? Groceries are the second-cheapest in the country, and child care costs are pretty reasonable, too, at $15,489 a year. But then there’s its health care score, the worst in the country — nope, you can do better than that.
Sure, the seafood is great in Washington state, but the child care costs are high and so are groceries. (Photo: iStock)
6. Washington state
Jobs and income score: 41.