The 10 worst states for working moms

Being a mother is the hardest job of all, as the old saw goes, but couple that with responsibilities of a successful career and working mothers just may be the most stressed out members of the workforce.

Workplaces have made efforts to be more accommodating to working mothers and new parents, but there are still obstacles as parental leave policies vary by state.

“The quality of infrastructure — from cost-effective day care to public schools — is far from uniform as well,” says WalletHub. The personal finance needs platform compared state dynamics across different metrics to determine a ranking of the best and worst states for working moms.

This comes amid a larger narrative of the plight of working moms. For instance, despite the strides toward an equal workforce, the pay gap still exists, with women only making 85% of what a man earned in 2018, according to Pew Research Center. Moreover, women are still struggling to have greater presence in the C-suite as only 4.8% of S&P 500 companies’ CEOs are women, according to research by Catalyst, a global nonprofit that looks to help organizations accelerate progress for women at work.

And if inequality at work isn’t bad enough, there is still inequality at home, with women feeling most of the pressure that comes with being a parent. Indeed, 77% of adults say women face a lot of pressure to be an involved parent, according to Pew Research, while only 56% say the same about men.

In order to come up with its list, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three dimensions: child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance. It ranks each category, one through 51, with one being the best. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for working moms.

Scroll through to see the 10 worst states for working moms.


Total Score: 29
Child Care Rank: 50
Professional Opportunities Rank: 48
Work-Life Balance Rank: 40


Total Score: 31.65
Child Care Rank: 45
Professional Opportunities Rank: 50
Work-Life Balance Rank: 43

South Carolina

Total Score: 32.51
Child Care Rank: 46
Professional Opportunities Rank: 49
Work-Life Balance Rank: 42


Total Score: 33.11
Child Care Rank: 51
Professional Opportunities Rank: 46
Work-Life Balance Rank: 15
Mississippi State Capitol


Total Score: 33.86
Child Care Rank: 42
Professional Opportunities Rank: 43
Work-Life Balance Rank: 47


Total Score: 34.15
Child Care Rank: 48
Professional Opportunities Rank: 26
Work-Life Balance Rank: 45


Total Score: 36.55
Child Care Rank: 38
Professional Opportunities Rank: 33
Work-Life Balance Rank: 51
9. West Virginia.jpg
Flag of the US state of West Virginia on a brushed metal backgound

West Virginia

Total Score: 37.67
Child Care Rank: 43
Professional Opportunities Rank: 36
Work-Life Balance Rank: 32


Total Score: 38.57
Child Care Rank: 39
Professional Opportunities Rank: 38
Work-Life Balance Rank: 33


Total Score: 38.57
Child Care Rank: 32
Professional Opportunities Rank: 35
Work-Life Balance Rank: 49