ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Women make up nearly half of the workforce in the United States, and around 68% of moms with children under the age of 18 were working in 2021. Unfortunately, however, the share of women in the workforce dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing a decline of around 1.3% between 2019 and 2021 (compared to 1.1% for men).

Even in non-pandemic conditions, women are constantly fighting an uphill battle in the workplace, as their average hourly wage is only 84% of what men make and only 6.2% of S&P 500 companies’ chief executives are women. These numbers beg the question- should women have to choose between career and family?

The real question, however, is what we’re doing about these fundamental problems. Progress is taking shape at different rates around the nation. Not only do parental leave policies and other legal support systems vary by state, but the quality of infrastructure- from daycare to public schooling- is far from uniform as well.

In order to help ease the burden on an underappreciated portion of the population, WalletHub compared state dynamics across 17 key metrics to identify the best and worst states for working moms. New York State ranked ninth overall but topped the list for day-care quality. Where the Empire State was hurt worst in the study was in the realm of poverty-stricken single mom families- placing twenty-eighth in that category.

The actual best state for working moms, you might ask? That would be Massachusetts- which ranked fourth overall for child-care but topped the list in just about every other category. WalletHub’s study highlighted the ease of work-life balance in the Bay State, while also mentioning a slight lack of professional opportunities offered to women there.

Best and worst states for working moms

Source: WalletHub
Overall Rank StateTotal Score Child Care Professional Opportunities Work-Life Balance 
1Massachusetts62.994221
2Connecticut62.95515
3Rhode Island61.99792
4Minnesota59.791315
5Wisconsin57.576510
6District of Columbia57.351177
7Vermont55.409219
8New Jersey55.2615158
9New York53.5333613
10New Hampshire52.198434
11Washington51.8934203
12South Dakota51.0220224
13Illinois50.7723326
14Maine49.19184314
15Oregon48.8939184
16North Dakota48.56142820
17Kansas47.95212421
18Tennessee47.20101348
19Maryland47.1716650
20Virginia47.11121244
21Indiana46.42173229
22Delaware46.40132341
23Iowa46.38251619
24Utah45.77244712
25Montana45.32303711
26Florida45.24191943
27Nebraska44.19291127
28Texas43.39231047
29Kentucky42.82224235
30Ohio42.82381422
31Wyoming42.27264618
32Pennsylvania41.57272937
33Michigan41.35322631
34Missouri40.91282740
35Colorado40.89352530
36North Carolina40.69371736
37Arizona39.6443833
38New Mexico39.07403528
39Hawaii38.94364916
40Alaska38.62413423
41Arkansas38.45423125
42California38.4449396
43Georgia37.46313051
44Oklahoma37.30334439
45West Virginia35.33464032
46Nevada32.60473846
47Idaho32.43514517
48South Carolina31.98454845
49Alabama31.33484142
50Mississippi29.14445149
51Louisiana27.38505038
Courtesy Wallethub.