Best and Worst: crunching numbers

Wallet Hub is a website designed to make money selling advertising opportunities to lawyers and financial advisers. In order to get itself some publicity, somebody over there has taken to crunching data to generate lists ranking cities and states by various metrics. Last week, the Review Journal reported on Wallet Hub’s recent study ranking Nevada a hard place for working mothers. Wallet Hub’s study is here. Without offering by-city detail, Wallet Hub ranked Nevada last in child care, well in professional opportunities, and near the bottom for work-life balance.

Wallet Hub’s “child care” rank is based on day care quality, child care costs as a percentage of median salary, number of pediatricians per 100-thousand residents, and public school quality.

Their “professional opportunities” rank is based on Gender Pay Gap (Women’s Earnings as a Percentage Of Men’s) and the percentage of executives who are women.

The “work-life balance” metric is based on a Parental Leave Policy Score, and half-weight rankings for the length of the average woman’s workday and average commute time.

For four of these nine sub-metrics, the top and bottom five are listed; Nevada only shows up on one of those lists, as fourth from the bottom in the ratio of child care costs to median salary.

Wallet Hub attributes its sources as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Child Care Aware of America, U.S. News & World Report, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and National Partnership for Women & Families, but does not include links to any specific data, so drilling down is not easy. Wallet Hub notes that its methodology rewards states run by Democrats and punishes states run by Republicans.

Wallet Hub offers other interesting studies as well: best cities to start a small business (Las Vegas ranks #10 out of 150, Reno ranks 55th); best & worst cities to work for a small business (Las Vegas ranks # of 100, Reno was not included) and most and least financially literate states (we’re 49th of 51).

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