LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas ranks poorly among the states as a place to have a baby according to one study.
Research by consumer finance site WalletHub ranked the Natural State at 45th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The study used data from multiple sources to develop its ranking, including U.S. government data.
The study had four categories overall leading to a final score. Arkansas ranked especially poor scores in health care and family-friendliness categories, while the state ranked not-bad to the middle of the pack in overall cost and baby-friendliness categories.
The health care score put Arkansas at an almost-the-bottom 50 out of a possible 51. That ranking factored in infant mortality rate, low birth weight and percentage of children with food insecurity, among other measures.
Family-friendliness put the state at 44 using numbers from an earlier study by WalletHub. In that study, Arkansas ranked especially poorly in two categories: family fun and health and safety.
Baby friendliness gave Arkansas a 29th place ranking, based on factors such as Medicaid-covered parenting programs and child care centers per capita.
In comparison, Arkansas ranked sixth for overall cost. That score factored in such things as the cost of hospital delivery and the cost of early childcare, alongside average health insurance premiums.
In determining ranking some Arkansas measures stood out. The state is fourth in the nation for annual infant-care cost and in infant mortality the state was ranked 50 out of 51 — with Mississippi achieving the lowest rank.