Is New York the Most Expensive State to Have a Child?
While the Empire State may provide some of the best healthcare in the continental U.S., its cost could be forcing families to move elsewhere.
We've all heard the excuse that we pay the price for good health care, but when does its cost cross into harmful territory?
According to WalletHub, New York families are more likely to struggle financially when they welcome a new addition to their household.
Out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, New York has the second-highest healthcare costs for babies. California has the worst.
Not only that, New York has the third highest conventional delivery charges in the nation, again bested by California as well as Nevada and New Jersey.
New York also scored poorly in terms of average annual infant care costs. The Empire State tied in last place with Washington, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, making it one of the costliest states in America.
The hits only keep coming, with the state also charging the third highest amount for early child care.
What categories NY scored well in
On the other hand, our state fared pretty well in other key measures.
New York has among the lowest infant mortality rate in the nation, scoring eighth best overall. It can also boast about having more midwives and OB-GYNs per capita than most other states.
In that category, NY ranked eighth best. It also had the eleventh-best score for pediatricians and family medicine physicians per capita.
The state fared even better when rated for its parental leave policy, which was the seventh best overall.
What saved the state's overall score was its overall family friendliness, which was the third highest in the nation. In all, that means NY has one of the best environments in which to care for children.
With that in mind, New York's rating was 17th best overall.
What states are the best?
In terms of overall score, the top five states in descending order are as follows:
5. North Dakota
4. Rhode Island
Despite this, the nation is struggling with a slowing birth rate, which was first observed during the 2008 financial crisis.
Houston, we have a problem
America's birth rate has fallen to its lowest point in over 100 years. It declined a whopping four percent in 2020, which was the largest single-year decrease in half a century.
Although the nation's fertility rate rose 0.09 percent in 2021, it fell by roughly another percentage point the following year.
Additionally, more women at age 35 or older are giving birth while their younger counterparts aren't.
Experts say the reason younger people aren't having children is because priorities shift during times of financial uncertainty. The younger generations appear to be putting off starting a family in favor of focusing on their careers and staying financially afloat.
Additionally, economists say the increasing cost of higher education, paired with stagnant wages and inflation - it's possible even more people will hold off on having babies because they won't feel as prepared.
Considering it costs over $2,000 for an insured person to have a child at a hospital, versus over $15,000 for an uninsured person, prospective families will need to save a lot of money just to bring new life into the world.
And that's not counting how much money it costs for prenatal or childcare.
Either way, economists are concerned about America's aging society and the consequences a continued low birthrate will destabilize the workforce and economy.