GOBankingRates

Best and Worst States for Families to Live a Richer Life

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If you want to live a richer life, you don’t necessarily have to work all hours of the day to earn more to buy the best for your family. In fact, you might already be wealthier than you think if you live in a state that offers a good quality of life at a good price.

To help you identify whether you’re in one of best places to live for families, GOBankingRates evaluated all 50 states. We pinpointed which ones are the best and worst by analyzing 12 factors grouped into the following five categories:

  • Jobs and income: Median household income and state unemployment rate
  • Housing: Median home listing price and state property tax rate
  • Lifestyle: State sales tax rate, annual child care costs, cost of groceries and school district grades
  • Healthcare: Average family health insurance premium and percentage of employer contribution to employee health insurance
  • Safety: Annual violent crime rates and property crime rates

Income and home price received double the weight of other factors because they play a more important role in people’s ability to have a good quality of life. Click through to find out if you’re in one of the best or worst places to live a richer life.

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50. New Mexico

  • Median household income: $44,963
  • Median home list price: $219,000
  • Child care costs: $15,569
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,349
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 6.56

It’s hard to live a richer life in a state that has one of the lowest median household incomes in the nation. And the average family health insurance premium is higher here than in most states.

However, what really pulls New Mexico down to the bottom of our rankings are its school and safety scores. It has the highest level of property crime, and third-highest level of violent crime. And New Mexico’s schools have the third-lowest grade in the U.S.

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49. Louisiana

  • Median household income: $45,047
  • Median home list price: $204,400
  • Child care costs: $11,265
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,242
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 5.4

Louisiana has a few things going for it. The median home list price is lower here than in most states. And Louisiana has the fourth-lowest child care costs in our rankings. However, there are a lot of factors that make Louisiana one of the worst states for families to live a richer life.

Louisiana’s median household income is the seventh lowest in the U.S. The average family health insurance premium is higher than in about half of the states. Its schools have the sixth-lowest grade on our list. And the state has the third-worst safety score.

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48. California

  • Median household income: $61,818
  • Median home list price: $499,000
  • Child care costs: $22,716
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $18,045
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.26

California’s median household income is the ninth highest in the nation. However, a separate GOBankingRates survey found that 11 of the 15 worst places to live to save money are in California because of the high cost of living there — especially housing costs. It’s hard for families to live a richer life in California when the median home list price is higher here than in every state but one.

California’s low school grade and high violent crime rate also pull it down in the rankings. Plus, California’s child care costs are among the highest in our rankings.

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47. Texas

  • Median household income: $53,207
  • Median home list price: $270,000
  • Child care costs: $15,703
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,216
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.12

Texas has one of the worst healthcare scores in our rankings because of relatively high insurance premiums and a lower employer healthcare contribution level than other states. Crimes rates also are higher here than in most states. And Texas schools get a grade of just 70.2 out of 100, putting them near the bottom of U.S. rankings.

Plus, Texas has the sixth-worst housing score as a result of its high property tax rate and relatively high median home list price.

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46. Washington

  • Median household income: $51,062
  • Median home list price: $344,950
  • Child care costs: $24,176
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,627
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.84

Affordable housing might be an issue for families in this state where home prices are high and the median household income falls below the national median. In fact, the median home list price in Washington is among the top 10 highest in our rankings.

It’s also hard for families to live a richer life in Washington because it has the seventh-highest child care costs. And at 9.2 percent, Washington’s sales tax is the fourth highest in the U.S.

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45. Florida

  • Median household income: $47,507
  • Median home list price: $279,900
  • Child care costs: $15,922
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,009
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.62

It’s hard to live a richer life in a state with a median household income that’s well below the national median of $53,889. Although child care costs and health insurance premiums are lower here than in many states, grocery costs are higher than the national average. And the median home list price is higher than in most states.

The state’s school grade also falls below the national average. And relatively high property and violent crime rates could make safety a concern for families.

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44. Arizona

  • Median household income: $50,255
  • Median home list price: $269,000
  • Child care costs: $18,687
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,999
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.1

Arizona has one of the lowest job and income scores in our rankings because of its relatively high unemployment rate of 5.1 percent and a median household income that falls below the national median. The state has other strikes against it that drag it down in our rankings.

Child care costs here are higher than in about half of the states. And Arizona’s safety score is higher than most other states’ scores.

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43. Alabama

  • Median household income: $43,623
  • Median home list price: $189,900
  • Child care costs: $10,653
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $15,953
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.72

The cost of living in Alabama is low. It has the third-lowest child care costs, the fourth-lowest average family health insurance premium and the 13th-lowest median home list price in our rankings.

However, there are plenty of reasons Alabama is one of the worst states for families to live a richer life. It has the fourth-lowest median household income and an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Its sales tax rate — 9.03 percent — is among the highest in the U.S. And Alabama schools received the seventh-lowest grade.

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42. Oklahoma

  • Median household income: $46,879
  • Median home list price: $175,900
  • Child care costs: $14,533
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,811
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.22

On the plus side, the cost of living is low in Oklahoma. Home prices, child care costs and family health insurance premiums are lower here than in most states. However, the state’s median household income is the 10th lowest in the nation.

What really drags Oklahoma down in our rankings, though, is its schools, which get a D — 68.3 out of 100 — according to Education Week Research Center’s scoring. Oklahoma also has high property and violent crime rates.

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41. Nevada

  • Median household income: $51,847
  • Median home list price: $279,000
  • Child care costs: $19,103
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,434
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 6.96

Plenty of people go to Nevada in hopes of striking it rich at its casinos. But Nevada is one of the worst states for families to live a richer life for several reasons.

For starters, the median household income is below the national median and the unemployment rate of 4.7 percent is higher than in most states. But a bigger problem for families is the state’s school grade, which is the lowest in the U.S. Safety also is a concern because Nevada has second-highest violent crime rate after Alaska.

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40. Mississippi

  • Median household income: $39,665
  • Median home list price: $174,500
  • Child care costs: $9,734
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,081
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.76

Home prices are lower in Mississippi than in most states, as are health insurance premiums and groceries. The state also has the second-lowest child care costs in our rankings.

Even with its low cost of living, Mississippi is one of the worst states for families to live a richer life because it has the lowest median household income in the U.S. On top of that, it has the second-lowest school grade in our rankings.

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39. New York

  • Median household income: $59,269
  • Median home list price: $359,000
  • Child care costs: $27,092
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $19,630
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.8

It’s hard to live a richer life in one of the most expensive states to call home. New York has the fifth-highest median home price and fourth-highest child care costs on our lists. And it has the second-highest average health insurance premium for families. On the plus side, New York has the ninth-highest school grade in the U.S.

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38. South Carolina

  • Median household income: $45,483
  • Median home list price: $229,900
  • Child care costs: $12,393
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,764
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 5.04

South Carolina’s child care costs are among the lowest in our rankings. Plus, the average family health insurance premium is lower in South Carolina than in about half of the states. However, paychecks don’t stretch as far in this state because it has one of the lowest median household incomes in the U.S.

Families also should be concerned about the state’s safety and education rankings. South Carolina has the fifth-worst safety score on our list. And its school grade falls within the bottom half of states.

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37. North Carolina

  • Median household income: $46,868
  • Median home list price: $249,000
  • Child care costs: $17,174
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,141
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.47

North Carolina scores only slightly better overall than its neighbor to the south. The median household income is slightly higher than in South Carolina. But child care costs are significantly higher in North Carolina. However, what helps North Carolina edge out South Carolina in the rankings is its safety score, which is much better.

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36. Georgia

  • Median household income: $49,620
  • Median home list price: $225,000
  • Child care costs: $14,395
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,307
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.78

Georgia’s child care costs are among the lowest in our rankings. But the average family health insurance premium is higher here than in most states. Plus, Georgia’s median household income is low, so families could struggle to make ends meet.

The state has another strike again it. Georgia’s education grade of 71.6 falls below the national average of 74.2.

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35. Tennessee

  • Median household income: $45,219
  • Median home list price: $191,950
  • Child care costs: $15,814
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $15,635
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 6.12

Home prices in Tennessee are lower than in most states — but incomes also are lower. Tennessee’s median household income is the eighth lowest in the U.S. And its education grade ranks in the bottom half of states.

Tennessee also isn’t one of the safest states to live in because it has the fourth-highest violent crime rate in our rankings. As a result, it’s not one of the best states to raise kids.

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34. Kansas

  • Median household income: $52,205
  • Median home list price: $170,000
  • Child care costs: $20,309
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,740
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.9

Housing is affordable in Kansas, which has the sixth-lowest median home list price in our rankings. But the state’s median household income is lower than the national median. Plus, child care costs are higher in Kansas than in more than half of the states. So families could find it harder to get ahead financially.

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33. Alaska

  • Median household income: $72,515
  • Median home list price: $278,950
  • Child care costs: $22,464
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $21,089
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 7.3

Alaska has the second-highest median household income in the U.S., which could help families live a richer life if it weren’t for the state’s high cost of living. In fact, Alaska has the highest average family health insurance premium of any state. It also has the highest unemployment rate at 6.7 percent.

Plus, the state’s school grade is below the national average. And Alaska has the highest violent crime rate of any state.

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32. Oregon

  • Median household income: $51,243
  • Median home list price: $349,000
  • Child care costs: $18,645
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,141
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.6

Oregon has no state sales tax, which is a plus for families. But there are plenty of negatives that drag this state down in our rankings.

Oregon has the sixth-highest median home list price on our list. Grocery costs also are well above the national average. But the median household income here is below the national median. On top of that, Oregon has the 12th-lowest education grade.

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31. Arkansas

  • Median household income: $41,371
  • Median home list price: $159,900
  • Child care costs: $11,338
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $14,218
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 5.21

The cost of living is low in this southern state. Arkansas has the lowest average family health insurance premium, the third-lowest median home list price and the fifth-lowest child care costs. However, the state’s median household income is the second lowest in the nation, which makes it hard for families to live a richer life here. Plus, Arkansas has the ninth-lowest school grade in the U.S.

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30. Hawaii

  • Median household income: $69,515
  • Median home list price: $605,000
  • Child care costs: $1,868
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $15,959
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.93

With Hawaii’s high median household income, families could live a richer life here if it weren’t for the high cost of living. It has the highest median home list price on our list and the highest grocery costs. Hawaii also has the highest property crime rate in our rankings — 37.96 crimes annually per 1,000 people.

Not everything costs more in Hawaii, though. It has the lowest child care costs and the lowest property tax rate in our rankings.

Related: This Is the Wealthiest City in Each State

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29. Missouri

  • Median household income: $48,173
  • Median home list price: $167,900
  • Child care costs: $16,016
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,849
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.97

Child care costs and the average family health insurance premium are lower in Missouri than in the majority of states. Plus, it has the sixth-lowest median home price. But Missouri’s low median household income drags it down in the rankings.

The state also has high sales and property tax rates. And a lower-than-average education grade prevents Missouri from being one of the best states for families.

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28. Rhode Island

  • Median household income: $56,852
  • Median home list price: $299,900
  • Child care costs: $23,223
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,590
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.43

Although the median household income in Rhode Island is higher than the national median, it’s not high enough to offset the state’s high cost of living. Rhode Island’s median home list price is 11th highest, its property tax rate is 10th highest and its child care costs are ninth highest. However, Rhode Island does have the 10th-best school grade in the U.S.

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27. West Virginia

  • Median household income: $41,751
  • Median home list price: $154,500
  • Child care costs: $15,600
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $18,322
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.38

It’s hard to live a richer life in a state that has the third-lowest median household income. The state’s high insurance premiums — the sixth-highest in our rankings — don’t make matters any better. And West Virginia’s low school grade pulls it down in the rankings, too.

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26. Colorado

  • Median household income: $60,629
  • Median home list price: $395,000
  • Child care costs: $26,367
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,940
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.21

Colorado has the best jobs and income score in our rankings because it has the lowest unemployment rate — 2.3 percent — and a relatively high median household income. But a few big factors prevent it from being one of the best states to raise a family.

Colorado has the fourth-highest median home list price. Its child care costs are the fifth-highest in the U.S. And its 73.8 school district grade is slightly below average.

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25. Illinois

  • Median household income: $57,574
  • Median home list price: $219,900
  • Child care costs: $23,426
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,227
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.84

There are plenty of reasons Illinois isn’t one of the best states for a richer life. Although the median household income is higher than the national median, the unemployment rate of 4.6 percent is higher than in most states. Illinois also has high property and sales tax rates. And its child care costs are the eighth highest in the U.S.

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24. Ohio

  • Median household income: $49,429
  • Median home list price: $154,900
  • Child care costs: $17,675
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,900
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.92

Ohio is one of the states where your home-buying dollars go the furthest. It has the second-lowest median home list price in our rankings. Other costs are low in the state, including groceries and health insurance.

But the median household income is low. And the unemployment rate is relatively high, which is why it’s not one of the best states for families to live a richer life.

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23. Nebraska

  • Median household income: $52,997
  • Median home list price: $199,500
  • Child care costs: $17,192
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,201
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.75

Nebraska doesn’t have any big strikes against it, but there aren’t any factors that make it stand out as one of the best states for families. Its school grade of 76 is higher than the national average of 74.2. But the median household income is slightly lower than the national median. The median home list price is lower than in most states, but the property tax rate is high.

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22. South Dakota

  • Median household income: $50,957
  • Median home list price: $212,500
  • Child care costs: $12,396
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,194
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.83

A big plus for families in South Dakota is the low cost of child care. But the state’s education grade also is low, which pulls it down in the rankings. Plus, South Dakota’s median household income is below the national median income.

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21. Massachusetts

  • Median household income: $68,563
  • Median home list price: $424,990
  • Child care costs: $34,381
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $18,454
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.91

Incomes are high in Massachusetts — but so is the cost of living. It has the highest child care costs of any state. The median home list price is the third highest in our rankings. And Massachusetts has the fifth-highest average family health insurance premium.

But there’s one factor that makes Massachusetts a good place for families if you can afford its high cost of living. It gets the highest school grade on our list.

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20. Connecticut

  • Median household income: $70,331
  • Median home list price: $309,720
  • Child care costs: $27,144
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $18,269
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.18

Connecticut’s median household income is the fourth highest in the U.S. And its schools receive one of the highest grades in the nation. But there are several factors that prevent Connecticut from being one of the top ten states to live in.

Connecticut’s child care costs tie for second highest in our rankings. It has the ninth-highest median home list price. Its average family health insurance premium is the eighth highest on our list. And Connecticut has a relatively high unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Connecticut might have some strikes against it, but it is the most successful state in the country, a separate GOBankingRates survey found.

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19. Minnesota

  • Median household income: $61,492
  • Median home list price: $249,000
  • Child care costs: $27,144
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,925
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.43

Minnesota’s child care costs tie with Connecticut’s for the second highest. But healthcare premiums are lower here — as are home prices. This helps Minnesota earn a better ranking, even though its median household income is lower than the median income in Connecticut.

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18. Idaho

  • Median household income: $47,583
  • Median home list price: $262,325
  • Child care costs: $13,461
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,691
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.16

Idaho has the lowest grocery costs in our rankings. And its child care costs are the ninth lowest. Insurance premiums also are cheaper here than in most states. Unfortunately, the median household income here also is low, so families’ paychecks don’t go as far.

Idaho also is one of the safest states to live in thanks to its low violent crime and property crime rates. However, its school grade ranks near the bottom.

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17. Maryland

  • Median household income: $74,551
  • Median home list price: $299,900
  • Child care costs: $24,470
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,961
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.57

Maryland has a lot to offer families who want to live a richer life. It has the highest median household income of any state. And its school grade is the fifth highest in the U.S.

However, a high cost of living makes Maryland one of the states most likely to live paycheck to paycheck. And the state’s child care costs are the sixth highest in the U.S. High violent crime and property crime rates also pull Maryland down in the rankings.

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16. Montana

  • Median household income: $47,169
  • Median home list price: $289,900
  • Child care costs: $17,090
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,317
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.5

The state’s low median household income won’t necessarily help families live a richer life. But child care costs are lower in Montana than in the majority of states, leaving families with more money for other expenses. And the average family health insurance premium is lower here than in about half of the states.

Families also get a break because there is no state sales tax. And Montana’s unemployment rate of 3.9 percent is lower than the unemployment rate in a majority of the states.

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15. Utah

  • Median household income: $60,727
  • Median home list price: $329,000
  • Child care costs: $18,645
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $15,998
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.36

Some factors make Utah a great place for families, but a few others keep it from being one of the best. It has the sixth-lowest average family health insurance premium in our rankings. The unemployment rate is a low 3.2 percent, and the median household income is the 11th highest in the U.S.

However, Utah’s median home list price is the eighth highest in our rankings. In fact, it's one of just a handful of states where it's more expensive to own a home than rent. And its child care costs are higher than in about half of the states. Plus, the state’s school grade is below the national average.

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14. Kentucky

  • Median household income: $43,740
  • Median home list price: $174,900
  • Child care costs: $12,112
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,622
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.19

Kentucky is one of the states with the most affordable housing. The median home list price is the ninth lowest in our rankings. Kentucky also has the sixth-lowest child care costs. Other costs, including groceries, also are low.

However, Kentucky’s median household income is among the lowest in the nation. And its school grade is lower than more than half of the states.

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13. Indiana

  • Median household income: $49,255
  • Median home list price: $162,000
  • Child care costs: $21,329
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,121
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.88

Indiana’s healthcare score is among the top 10 best in our rankings because insurance premiums are relatively low and employers in the state cover a large percentage of the cost for employees. The state’s housing score is also one of the best thanks to low home prices and a low property tax rate.

Indiana doesn’t make it into the top 10 best states, though, because its median household income is low. And its child care costs are higher than in more than half of the states.

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12. Pennsylvania

  • Median household income: $53,599
  • Median home list price: $194,900
  • Child care costs: $21,363
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,344
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.15

Pennsylvania’s schools have the eighth-highest grade in our rankings. It’s also one of the safest states. Home prices are relatively low, as is the average family health insurance premium.

But Pennsylvania’s high child care costs keep it out of the top 10. Plus, the state’s median household income is slightly below the national median income, and its unemployment rate of 5 percent is the tied for fifth highest in the nation.

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11. Michigan

  • Median household income: $49,576
  • Median home list price: $167,000
  • Child care costs: $17,561
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $15,628
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.16

Affordable housing and low health insurance costs make Michigan one of the best states for families to live a richer life. It has the second-lowest average family health insurance premium in our rankings and the fifth-lowest median list price. Michigan also has lower grocery costs that most of the other states.

However, the state’s median household income is lower than the national income. And Michigan’s violent crime rate — which is higher than in most states — keeps it out of the top 10.

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10. Wisconsin

  • Median household income: $53,357
  • Median home list price: $189,500
  • Child care costs: $21,918
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,662
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 3.06

Low home prices and relatively low health insurance premiums mean that Wisconsin families can stretch their paychecks a little further — even though the median household income here is slightly lower than the national median. Wisconsin also benefits from a low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent. Although child care costs are relatively high, the state’s school grade is the 12th highest in the U.S.

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9. Vermont

  • Median household income: $55,176
  • Median home list price: $249,500
  • Child care costs: $21,522
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,835
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 1.18

Vermont ranks ninth in our list of best states to live in for families thanks to its good schools. The state’s school grade — 83.8 out of 100 — is the third highest on our list. It’s also the safest state to live in because it has the lowest violent crime and property crime rates.

Vermont’s median household income is higher than the national median, but the cost of living also is higher here — which pulls the state down in the rankings. child care and grocery costs are higher here than in most of the states. And Vermont has the fifth-highest property tax rate.

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8. Iowa

  • Median household income: $53,183
  • Median home list price: $174,800
  • Child care costs: $18,186
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,257
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.86

Iowa’s low cost of living makes it one of the best states for families to live a richer life. It has the ninth-lowest median home list price and eighth-lowest grocery costs. Plus, child care costs are lower here than in more than half of the states.

Iowa also is one of the best states for families because its school grade is higher than the national average.

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7. Maine

  • Median household income: $49,331
  • Median home list price: $229,900
  • Child care costs: $18,360
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,117
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 1.3

Maine is one of the best states to live in for families thanks, in large part, to how safe it is. It has the second-best safety score in our rankings.

Although the median household income is below the national median of $53,889, the unemployment rate is a low 3.2 percent. Plus, living costs are relatively low. Grocery costs are below the national average, and Maine has the 10th-lowest average family health insurance premium in our rankings.

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6. New Jersey

  • Median household income: $72,093
  • Median home list price: $299,900
  • Child care costs: $22,709
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $18,280
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.55

New Jersey’s high median household income helps make it one of the best states for families to live a richer life. It also has the second-highest school grade in the U.S. New Jersey also has one of the best safety scores in our rankings.

However, housing costs prevent New Jersey from ranking even higher. It has one of the worst housing scores because it has the highest property tax rate and a high median home list price. It's also the worst state for first-time home buyers.

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5. Delaware

  • Median household income: $60,509
  • Median home list price: $260,000
  • Child care costs: $19,220
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $18,920
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 4.99

Affordable housing and a high median household income make Delaware one of the top ten states to live in for families. The state’s school grade also is higher than the national average. Plus, Delaware has no sales tax.

What keeps Delaware from ranking higher is its unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, which is higher than in most states. Grocery costs also are higher than the national average. And it’s not one of the safest states.

Related: These 5 States Don't Charge Sales Tax — Learn How They Make Money Instead

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4. North Dakota

  • Median household income: $57,181
  • Median home list price: $201,500
  • Child care costs: $16,254
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $16,020
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.39

Although North Dakota’s economy has been affected by the oil boom and bust, the state still is a great place for families to live a richer life. It has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation — just 2.5 percent. Plus, the median household income here is higher than the national median.

Families also can benefit from the state’s low violent crime and property crime rates. And North Dakota has the eighth-lowest average family health insurance premium.

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3. Virginia

  • Median household income: $65,015
  • Median home list price: $299,950
  • Child care costs: $22,360
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,566
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 1.96

Virginia’s high median household income makes it one of the best states for families to live a richer life. It has the eighth-highest median income in our ranking. Plus, it has the sixth-highest safety score on our list.

Also, Virginia’s schools score higher than the national average — 78.3 out of 100 versus 74.2, according to Education Week Research Center’s scoring. However, child care costs are higher here than in the majority of states.

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2. Wyoming

  • Median household income: $58,840
  • Median home list price: $238,125
  • Child care costs: $18,720
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $17,015
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 2.22

A relatively high median household income and affordable housing helps Wyoming claim the No. 2 spot in our rankings. It has the fourth-lowest property tax rate. Plus, Wyoming has the seventh-highest average school grades on our list.

Wyoming also ranks among the top 10 states for safety because of its low violent and property crime rates. However, grocery costs are higher here than the national average, as are child care costs and healthcare premiums.

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1. New Hampshire

  • Median household income: $66,779
  • Median home list price: $278,000
  • Child care costs: $22,152
  • Average family health insurance premiums: $19,208
  • Violent crimes per 1,000 people: 1.99

New Hampshire lands in the No. 1 spot for several reasons. The median household income is among the highest in our rankings, and the unemployment rate is among the lowest at just 2.9 percent. New Hampshire also has the fourth-highest school district grade. With the fourth-lowest violent crime and sixth-lowest property crime rates, it’s one of the safest states to live in. Plus, there’s no sales tax.

However, housing costs are on the high side — especially the property tax rate, which is the second-highest in our rankings.

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The Best and Worst States

By studying a map of the best and worst states to live a richer life, a couple trends are immediately clear: Worse states cluster in the West and South, while better states are in the Midwest and East.

In the West, high housing prices drive the states down in our ratings. In the South, it's low household incomes. In the Midwest and East, on the other hand, household incomes are relatively higher than in the South and housing prices are relatively lower than in the West.  

Up Next: Best and Worst Cities to Score Your Dream Job

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed all 50 states, analyzing 12 data points that served as determining factors in the ranking: (1) median household income, sourced from the Census Bureau in 2015 dollars; (2) May 2017 unemployment rates, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; (3) median home listing prices as of May 2017, sourced from Zillow; (4) mean effective state property tax (referred to as "property tax"), sourced from the Tax Foundation; (5) state sales tax rates in 2017, sourced from the Tax Foundation; (6) grocery costs, sourced from Missouri Economic Research and Information Center; (7) annual child care costs for an infant and a 4-year-old, sourced from Child Care Aware of America; (8) school district grades, sourced from Education Week; (9) average family health insurance premiums, sourced from Kaiser Family Foundation; (10) employer health insurance contributions, sourced from Kaiser Family Foundation; (11) annual violent crimes per 1,000 residents, sourced from NeighborhoodScout.com; (12) annual property crimes per 1,000 residents, sourced from NeighborhoodScout.com. Household income and home list prices were weighted double in our analysis.