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Study ranks Alabama 6th hardest state to be a working dad

Assessed in 23 lifestyle indicators, the state scored especially low in male life expectancy and daycare quality.


Alabama is the sixth-worst state in the nation to be a working father, according to a study released Wednesday by the personal finance website WalletHub.

The study evaluated 23 key indicators of each state’s status of working dads, examining things like the average length of the workday for men, childcare costs and the percentage of men considered to be in good or better health.

It noted that the dual role of parent and provider has shifted over the last several generations. In 1960, 75 percent of American families were supported by only one income, which was typically earned by the father, according to the Pew Research Center. Many more married mothers now work as well — 69 percent compared to 93 percent of married fathers.

Among working families in Alabama with children ages 0-17 and in which the father is present, Alabama received the following rankings in these key areas:

  • 49th in male life expectancy
  • 38th in the percentage of children living in poverty
  • 36th in the uninsured rate among males
  • 34th in the average length of the workday for males
  • 42nd in the percent of physically active men
  • 19th in childcare costs (adjusted for median family income)
  • 47th in daycare quality

With many dads working from home during the pandemic, childcare responsibilities were more distributed between parents. Those who live in states with more economic opportunities and quality of life fare better, the study’s authors said.

Ranked lower than Alabama were West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico and Nevada, in that order.

The highest rankings went to Massachusetts, followed by Washington D.C., Minnesota, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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Micah Danney is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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