The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has recently released a report that applies a letter grade to each state based on their suitability to raise children there. Utah got an F, in fact only Indiana did worse. (I don’t know enough about Indiana to make a state-related burn right now, but if I did. I’d put it here.)
Here’s the map:
According to this, the “worst place to raise kids” is apparently dependent entirely on “paid leave, dependent and elder care, child care, and the gender gap in the labor force.” This map doesn’t look at crime rates, education, cost of living, marriage rates, or you know any other vastly important factors when considering how suitable a state is for child rearing.
Looking at the numbers, a big part of the “F” Utah received is due to our gender gap in the workforce. D.C. only has about 18% of households with children under 18 and had 64.1% of those homes with the mother as the breadwinner – They ranked D.C. as #1 in this category.
Utah, in contrast, has 37.8% of households with children under 18, and only 34.8% of those households had mothers as the breadwinner.
Utah scored a rank of 51 out of 51 here.
So a state with twice the number of child-full households, and nearly half the number working mothers is the failure?
Given the high Mormon population in Utah, and that Mormons have an actual Proclamation on how God has designed the family structure – it stands to reason that as a whole they’ll trend towards more working fathers, and stay-at-home mothers.
I don’t mean to disparage single or working mothers – Women who do so much in a very thankless role, but what it seems like this study is insinuating is that it’s better for women to enter the workforce and relegate the raising of their children to child care facilities or others, than elect to remain at home and do the mothering themselves.
If that’s what it takes to get an A… Utah, let’s celebrate our F.