Virginia fourth-cheapest state to raise a family, study shows

WASHINGTON — The cost of raising a family is high and getting higher, but a state-by-state ranking of the most and least expensive places to do it may uncover a surprise.

The list issued by the website GoBankingRates.com says that Virginia ranks as the fourth-cheapest place to raise a family, factoring in paid family leave, median state incomes and the costs of housing, food and child care.

It may not seem that way in Fairfax County or other areas in the northern part of the state, and it’s true that the study says Virginia pays more for housing than most Americans, with a median rent of $1,504 a month.

On the other hand, the study finds, the median income is the fourth-highest in the country, while food costs are lower than the national average.

Maryland ranked as the 22nd most expensive state. The most expensive was Hawaii; the least expensive, Tennessee.

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