Nearly a quarter of children under 18 in the United States live with a single parent – more than three times the global rate of 7%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
If your family falls into this category, a new study suggests California is the best place to be.
LendingTree ranked states based on 10 criteria in four categories: income, affordability, time factors (including average commutes and average hours worked), and workplace protections to determine the best places to raise a family as a single parent.
While the cost of living in California is high and commutes can be long, the Golden State landed at the top of the list based on high marks for workplace protections, income, and childcare assistance.
Lending Tree noted that California had the highest workplace protection score, in part for offering eight weeks of paid family leave a year. California also offers 40 hours a year of unpaid time to attend school activities, which is significantly more than any other state, the study found.
“Sure, California is expensive (especially in the big cities), but some of the state’s family-friendly policies can make a really big difference to families,” said LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz. “Just knowing that you can take family leave or go to your daughter’s concert or soccer game without putting your job in jeopardy is big.”
California had the sixth-highest income score based on an average single-parent income of $60,235.
As part of the affordability measurement, researchers noted that California residents are eligible for childcare assistance if they earn $73,885 a year or less – the highest amount in the U.S.
Massachusetts ranked second on the overall list. Georgia was last.