FILE - Family Raising Childhood Parents

(The Center Square) – Tennessee ranks in the bottom half of states in terms of best places to raise a family, according to a recently released report.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, put together the state rankings based on 51 indicators of family-friendliness, ranging from median annual family income to housing affordability and unemployment rates Its report said the ideal city is one that’s affordable to live in during this time of high inflation but also offers quality schools, healthcare and entertainment.

Tennessee fell short, ranking 33rd overall.

The Volunteer State did rank higher in family fun (20th) but fell short in  affordability (30th), health and safety (40th) and education and child care (26th).

“Tennessee has a lot of family fun opportunities and ranks in the top half in terms of socioeconomics," WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said. "One of its weaker points is the fact that it has a low share of children who live in neighborhoods with a park or a playground. The state also has low quality public hospitals and low life expectancy at birth. Other factors that might make people avoid Tennessee when choosing to relocate include the large number of climate disasters and high crime rate. For families with small children, the low number of child day-care services per capita can be a deterrent. Lastly, Tennessee has a large share of families living in poverty and low job security, which are not attractive for people looking to move."

The report ranked Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota and Vermont as the top five states to raise a family. The bottom five included Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.