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These Are the Healthiest States for Children in America ranked all 50 U.S. states based on health, safety, education, child care and socioeconomics data. How'd your state do?

These Are the Healthiest States for Children in America

BOSTON — When it comes to our kids, it seems like there’s a never-ending supply of things to worry about: school grades, extracurricular activities, tutoring sessions, child care (do you go with a babysitter? Or a nanny? Or a child care center?). Heck, let’s even throw in child care costs, too. And the level of importance given to each item will vary from family to family.

That being said, the topic that consistently ranks #1 on every parent’s “Worry List” is their child’s health.

There are quite a few factors that contribute to a person’s overall health — ones that go beyond physical health and wellness. This includes concerns like the safety and stability of a person’s living environment, the accessibility and affordability of medical and non-medical care, and poverty rates.

To help uncomplicate things a bit, looked at data across all 50 U.S. states to determine which states are the healthiest for children.

We broke down the data into three major categories:

  • Health and Safety

  • Education and Child Care

  • Socioeconomics

Each category bucket took into account specific metrics that determined a state’s score and affect its overall ranking. (See the Methodology section below to learn more.)

Take a look at the interactive map below to see which states were found to be the healthiest for children – and which came in last.

The Top 10 Healthiest States for Children

Want to know which states are the best for children’s health? Then look no further than New England; this region had three of its states sweep the first- through third-place rankings for “Overall Health” — and had five states make it into the Top 10.

New Hampshire clinched the title of “Healthiest State for Children” because it earned

 solid scores across all three categories.

N.H. state ranked #1 for

both the “Education and Child Care” and “Socieconomics” categories, and #3 for “Health and Safety.” 

In second place was Vermont, due in large part to its #1 rank in the “Health and Safety” category. Although V.T. made it into the top 5 for “Education and Child Care” — coming in at #4 — the state’s overall score was pulled down by the fact that it came in at #11 for the “Socioeconomics” category.

In third place was Massachusetts. Similar to Vermont’s story, M.A. secured the #2 rank for both the “Health and Safety” and “Education and Child Care” categories. However, this state’s overall score was pulled down by its #13 position within the “Socioeconomics” category.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 “Healthiest States for Children” list was Minnesota at #4, Connecticut at #5, Iowa at #6, Nebraska at #7, New Jersey at #8, Maine at #9, and North Dakota at #10.


This study considers all 50 states of the United States. The ranking for Best States for Children’s Health were based on scores in three categories: “Health and Safety,” “Education and Child Care,” and “Socioeconomics.”

“Health and Safety” includes Air Quality, Percentage of Children at Healthy Weight, Hospital Quality, Number of Pediatricians per 10,000 Children, Infant Mortality Rate, Percentage of Children without Health Insurance, and Violent Crime Rate. Data are from,,,,, and

“Education and Child Care” includes Average Percentage of Students at or Above Proficiency in Math and Reading, High School Graduation Rates, Child Care Availability, Child Care Quality and Child Care Cost. Data are from, Department of Education,

“Socioeconomics” includes Unemployment Rate, Housing Affordability, Participation in SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps), and Percentage of Children Living Below the Poverty Line. Data are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Food and Nutrition Service,, and the Center for Disease Control.

Metrics in these categories were normalized on a scale from 0 to 100, and combined using a weighted average with the following weights: Health and Safety (40%), Education and Child Care (30%), Socioeconomics (30%).